Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis: Objectives and design

Diane E. Bild, David A. Bluemke, Gregory L. Burke, Robert Detrano, Ana V. Diez Roux, Aaron R. Folsom, Philip Greenland, David R. Jacobs, Richard Kronmal, Kiang Liu, Jennifer Clark Nelson, Daniel O'Leary, Mohammed F. Saad, Steven Shea, Moyses Szklo, Russell P. Tracy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2165 Scopus citations


The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis was initiated in July 2000 to investigate the prevalence, correlates, and progression of subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a population-based sample of 6,500 men and women aged 45-84 years. The cohort will be selected from six US field centers. Approximately 38% of the cohort will be White, 28% African-American, 23% Hispanic, and 11% Asian (of Chinese descent). Baseline measurements will include measurement of coronary calcium using computed tomography; measurement of ventricular mass and function using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging; measurement of flow-mediated brachial artery endothelial vasodilation, carotid intimal-medial wall thickness, and distensibility of the carotid arteries using ultrasonography; measurement of peripheral vascular disease using ankle and brachial blood pressures; electrocardiography; and assessments of microalbuminuria, standard CVD risk factors, sociodemographic factors, life habits, and psychosocial factors. Blood samples will be assayed for putative biochemical risk factors and stored for use in nested case-control studies. DNA will be extracted and lymphocytes will be immortalized for genetic studies. Measurement of selected subclinical disease indicators and risk factors will be repeated for the study of progression over 7 years. Participants will be followed through 2008 for identification and characterization of CVD events, including acute myocardial infarction and other coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and congestive heart failure; therapeutic interventions for CVD; and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-881
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Cohort studies
  • Coronary disease
  • Epidemiologic methods
  • Prospective studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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