Ideal Cardiovascular Health: Start Young, Finish Strong
Landmark developments during the second half of the 20th century established that smoking, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia constituted cardinal risk factors for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.1 These insights proved critical in reversing decades of increases in the mortality rate from coronary heart disease in the United States starting in the late 1960s. As knowledge concerning the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease evolved rapidly during ensuing decades, research tended to focus on how much risk for adverse cardiovascular events increased in function of levels of risk factors (high-risk emphasis). However, this paradigm has shifted as research increasingly emphasized that low-risk cardiovascular risk factor profiles were associated with large reductions in cardiovascular mortality and improvements in other outcomes (low-risk emphasis).2 Thus, the conceptual framework for preventing cardiovascular disease that had been anchored largely in primary prevention increasingly embraced primordial prevention.3 (SELECT FULL TEXT TO CONTINUE)
- Received March 21, 2012.
- Accepted March 22, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited