Educating medical students about the identification of risk factors for coronary disease and hypertension should be enhanced by exercises in which medical students identify their own risk factors and visualize the impact of current risk status on future risk of disease. A cohort of 1,130 former Johns Hopkins medical students were examined in medical school and followed annually from 1948 to 1964 to identify youthful factors associated with the development of coronary heart disease and hypertension in midlife. In the ensuing years through 1984, 51 cases of coronary heart disease and 114 cases of hypertension developed. Multiple risk equations using Cox proportional hazards regression were developed to predict these endpoints. Incidence of coronary heart disease was predicted best by an equation containing age, serum cholesterol at baseline, cigarette smoking at baseline, and paternal history of coronary disease. Hypertension was predicted best by an equation containing age, systolic blood pressure at baseline, paternal history of hypertension, and Quetelet index. These equations were applied to a class of present-day medical students to demonstrate the considerable variability in 30-year risk of coronary disease or hypertension. Thus, coronary heart disease and hypertension in midlife can be predicted by factors identified in youth. The Johns Hopkins multiple risk equations may be valuable as tools in preventive cardiology education to illustrate risk assessment and the importance of risk factor interventions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health