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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 451489, 5 pages
Research Article

Betel Nut Chewing and Subclinical Ischemic Heart Disease in Diabetic Patients

1Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei 10051, Taiwan
2Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei 10002, Taiwan

Received 17 August 2010; Accepted 3 October 2010

Academic Editor: Undurti N. Das

Copyright © 2011 Chin-Hsiao Tseng. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. This study investigated the association between betel nut chewing and subclinical ischemic heart disease (IHD) in Taiwanese type 2 diabetic patients. Methods. A total of 394 male patients aging 45 years and without previous heart disease were studied. Among them 349 had no habit of chewing betel nut and 45 possessed the habit for 5 years. Subclinical IHD was diagnosed by a Minnesota-coded resting electrocardiogram and was present in 71 cases. Statistical analyses were performed considering confounding effects of age, diabetic duration, smoking, body mass index, blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and metabolic control status. Results. Betel nut chewers were younger and had higher prevalence of smoking (86.7% versus 60.5%), higher body mass index, poorer glycemic control, and higher prevalence of subclinical IHD (28.9% versus 16.6%). Patients with subclinical IHD were older and had higher prevalence of betel nut chewing (18.0% versus 9.9%). The multivariate-adjusted odds ratio for subclinical IHD for chewers versus nonchewers was 4.640 (1.958–10.999). The adjusted odds ratios in younger or older patients divided by the median age of 63 years were similar: 4.724 (1.346–16.581) and 4.666 (1.278–17.028), respectively. Conclusions. Betel nut chewing is significantly associated with increased risk of subclinical IHD.