Differential impact of aging on cardiovascular risk in women military service members

Xiaofei Chen, Bala Ramanan, Shirling Tsai, Haekyung Jeon-Slaughter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is the third leading cause of death in women service members and veterans. This study assessed 10-year ASCVD risk in women service members and veterans using their own electronic health record data extracted from Veterans Affairs (VA) national Corporate Data Warehouse database. METHODS AND RESULTS: We retrospectively followed 69 574 VA women, aged 30 to 79 years, from 2007 to 2017. Of these, 52% were whites (n=36 172), 42% were blacks (n=29 232), and 6% were Hispanics (n=4171). Risk factors and ASCVD events (nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, and cardiac deaths) were identified using diagnostic and procedural codes from electronic health records. Then, within the same construct of the current American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association 10-year ASCVD risk assessment models for women, coefficients for risks factors were recalculated using the VA national electronic health record data, stratified by race (hereafter, VA women model). Our study found a curvilinear association of aging with increased risk of 10-year ASCVD event in VA women starting at ages as young as 30 years across all race groups. The VA women model performance in predicting ASCVD events at 10 years was mixed-moderate in discrimination (C statistics, 0.61–0.64) but good in accuracy, as demonstrated by calibration plots approximating a 45° line. CONCLUSIONS: The study finding, a curvilinear association of aging with increased ASCVD risk in VA women across all races, demonstrates the need for cardiovascular risk screening of younger VA women, aged <45 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere015087
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 16 2020


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Predictive model
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Women
  • Women service members
  • Women veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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