Background: There is still debate over the utility of carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT) or carotid plaque in predicting future cardiovascular events and death. Additionally, the importance of plasma homocysteine levels was raised as a predictor of cardiovascular events and death. Methods: 1,391 subjects were recruited from the Ansan Geriatric cohort. We used B-mode carotid ultrasonography to assess C-IMT and plaque, measuring average maximal IMT and average mean IMT through 6-8 measurements of far-wall IMT in both common carotid arteries. We evaluated the presence of plaque in carotid segments. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was used to predict both cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Results: During a mean follow-up of 62.4 ± 12.4 months, 71 subjects (5.12%) died and 23 (1.66%) died of cardiovascular causes. Multivariable Cox regression analysis found the predictors of cardiovascular mortality to be average maximal IMT (HR = 3.709; 95% CI: 1.202-11.446) and plasma homocysteine (HR = 1.057; 95% CI: 1.012-1.103). All-cause mortality was independently associated with C-IMT (average maximal and average mean IMT) and plasma homocysteine. Conclusions: C-IMT and plasma homocysteine levels were found to predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality independently of the presence of carotid plaque and other cardiovascular risk factors.
- Carotid plaque
- Intima-media thickness