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*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


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 - Jul 4 2000


  • Cholesterol
  • Controlled clinical trials
  • Lovastatin
  • Primary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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