Preventing Cardiovascular Disease: Going Beyond Conventional Risk Assessment
The rise of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as a leading cause of medical morbidity and mortality world-wide has long been thought to be a consequence of industrialization.1 As industrialization has spread globally, CVD has risen as a world-wide cause of illness and death. Diets higher in saturated fat and salt, sedentary lifestyle, tobacco use, and obesity, known cardiovascular risk factors, all appear to accompany industrialization. However, it is unlikely that a "return to nature" will solve the CVD problem. A positive consequence of industrialization is a longer life expectancy in part due to a more stable food supply, modern control of infectious diseases, and reduced perinatal morbidity. Since CVD has a long incubation period, perhaps the most potent cardiovascular risk factor is age, one "cause" of higher disease rates may be simply living long enough to acquire heart disease.
- Received November 28, 2014.
- Accepted December 2, 2014.