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Effects of Modifiable Risk Factors in Cardiovascular Disease

A 1.5 million-participant study of incident cardiovascular disease shows that more than one-half of cases and about one-fifth of related deaths result from 5 modifiable risk factors: body mass index, systolic blood pressure, non–HDL cholesterol, current smoking, and diabetes. “The five modifiable risk factors accounted for an aggregate population-attributable fraction of the 10-year incidence of cardiovascular disease of 57.2% among women and 52.6% among men, and the corresponding values for 10-year all-cause mortality were 22.2% and 19.1%,” the authors conclude.

“Reducing the global burden of cardiovascular disease to a large extent is feasible but requires fundamental changes in the approach to cardiovascular disease prevention by integrating public health and clinical strategies among policymakers, physicians, allied health groups, and communities at multiple levels,” editorialists write. “Such an approach could reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease to a substantial extent globally and at low cost. It is time to act.”

Source: New England Journal of Medicine