REVIEW – April 2005

Opportunities to prevent heart disease


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Cardiovascular disease, including number 1 killer, coronary heart disease, is the major cause of morbidity and morality in the world. It contributes in large part to the escalating costs of health care. The underlying pathology is usually atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular disease is generally due to combination of several risk factors, among which the most important are arterial hypertension, smoking, diabetes, and dyslipidaemia.

Cardiovascular disease relates strongly to lifestyles. The role of sendetary lifestyle as well as of overweight and obesity as the risk factors is increasing. At the same time risk factor modifications have been unequivocally shown to reduce mortality and morbidity. In the overview, opportunities to decrease the impact of risk factors through healthy lifestyle are discussed.