American Indians; Atherosclerosis; Blood pressure; Cardiovascular disease; Cardiovascular system – Diseases; Carotid artery intimal medial thickness; Indians of North America; Lipids; Non-insulin-dependent diabetes


Objectives: To present baseline characteristics of American Indians in the Stop Atherosclerosis in Native Diabetics Study (SANDS) and compare them with population-based data from American Indians and other ethnic groups. Design: 499 people with type 2 diabetes ≥ age 40, without known CVD, were recruited for a randomized 3-year trial to evaluate treatment targets for LDL-C (70 vs. 100 mg/dL) and systolic blood pressure (BP) (115 vs. 130 mmHg). Baseline evaluations included physical exam, collection of blood and urine samples, and carotid ultrasound and echocardiographic measures. Results: Mean age was 56 years; 66% were female. Average BMI was 33 kg/m2. Average duration of both hypertension and diabetes was 10 years, average A1c was 8.0 %, and mean LDL-C was 104 mg/dL. Participants in the conventional treatment group had slightly higher systolic BPs than participants in the aggressive treatment group (133 mm Hg vs. 128 mm Hg, p < 0.002). Compared with the population-based cohorts of the Strong Heart Study (SHS), NHANES, and the TRIAD registry, SANDS participants had similar values for lipids, BP, and CRP, as well as degree of obesity, smoking rates, and renal function as indicated by estimated glomerular filtration rate. Conclusions: The baseline characteristics of the SANDS cohort are similar to those of a population-based sample of American Indian diabetic men and women and closely resemble diabetic men and women of other ethnic groups. Results from this study can be used to identify appropriate targets for LDL-C and BP lowering in diabetic American Indians and diabetic patients in other ethnic groups.