Prevalence of smoking and its relationship with carotid atherosclerosis in Alaskan Eskimos of the Norton Sound region: The GOCADAN Study
Attitude to Health
Carotid Artery Diseases
Tobacco Use Disorder
Since 2000, the Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease in Alaska Natives (GOCADAN) study has been collecting information on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its risk factors from 1,214 Alaska Natives of the Norton Sound region, a population with increasing rates of heart disease and stroke. Because smoking was reported in a large proportion of the participants, this analysis was undertaken to evaluate smoking patterns and their relation to other risk factors and to CVD. The relationships among smoking habits and demographic factors, body mass index, plasma fibrinogen, prevalent hypertension, and carotid plaque were evaluated. Eighty percent of participants had smoked 100+ cigarettes in their lifetime. Fifty-seven percent of women and 63% of men (p = .12) were current smokers: one in four smokers had quit. Current smokers (OR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.1-3.8) and those who had quit <5 years ago (OR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.1-2.2) were more likely than non-smokers to have carotid plaque. Pack-years smoked also were correlated with carotid plaque. The high prevalence of smoking and low rates of cessation in this population demonstrate an urgent need for smoking prevention and cessation programs among Alaskan Eskimos of the Norton Sound region and other Alaska Native groups.