Air force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention study (AFCAPS/TexCAPS): Baseline Characteristics and comparison with USA population

Michael Clearfield, Edwin J. Whitney, Stephen Weis, John R Downs, Deborah R. Shapiro, Evan A. Stein, Douglas J. Watson, Alexandra Langendörfer, Polly A. Beere, Jeremiah Stamler, Antonio M. Gotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Results of the Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (AFCAPS/TexCAPS) demonstrated that treatment with lovastatin, in addition to modifications of diet and lifestyle, reduced the rate of first acute major coronary events compared with placebo in a cohort that included participants with average to mildly elevated total levels of cholesterol, and below average levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, women, and elderly subjects. Objective: To describe the baseline characteristics of the study's cohort. Design: This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, primary-prevention trial in which Americans with average to mildly elevated total levels of cholesterol [4.65-6.83 mmol/l (180-264 mg/dl)] and no clinical evidence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease were randomly allocated either 20-40 mg/day lovastatin or placebo in addition to a low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol diet. Baseline characteristics of the study cohort are described, and the characteristics of a USA reference population based upon NHANES III data are provided for comparison. Results: The study includes 5608 men (85%) and 997 women (15%) with mean total cholesterol level 5.71 ± 0.54 mmol/I (221 ± 21 mg/dl), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level 3.88 ± 0.44 mmol/I (150 ± 17 mg/dl), high- density lipoprotein cholesterol 0.96 ± 0.15 mmol/I (37 ± 6 mg/dl), and median triglyceride level 1.78 ± 0.86 mmol/I (158 ± 76 mg/dl). The mean age is 58 years (ranges 45-73 years for men and 55-73 years for women). The participants are 89% white, 7% Hispanic, and 3% black. Conclusion: Results from AFCAPS/TexCAPS will be applicable to large segments of populations; in the USA alone, eight million share the demographic and baseline-lipid-level characteristics of the study cohort. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Risk
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholesterol
  • Controlled clinical trials
  • Lovastatin
  • Primary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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