Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of death in middle-aged and elderly adults in developed countries. It is multifactorial in nature and it is important to consider all risk factors simultaneously when estimating cardiovascular risk for an individual.
We mean as CV risk factor an attribute or exposure to some enviromental hazard that leads the individual concerned to have a greater likelihood of developing CVD. The relationship is one of probability and as such can be distinguished from a casual agent.
Through many epidemiological studies the World Health Organization and several Expert Committees have been realized CVD risk factors guidelines. The most important risk factors are divided as follow:
q Lifestyle: diet high in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories, tobacco smoking, excess alcohol consumption, physical inactivity
q Biochemical or physiological characteristics (modifiable): elevated blood pressure, elevated plasma total cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), low plasma HDL cholesterol, elevated plasma triglycerides, hyperglycaemia/diabetes, obesity, thrombogenic factors, hyperhomocysteinaemia
q Personal characteristics (non-modifiable): age, sex, family history of CVD or other atherosclerotic vascular disease at an early age (in men < 55 years, in women < 65 years), personal history of CVD or other atherosclerotic vascular disease
Prevention is as much effectiveas younger are the people treated!
Advices for healthy living
q Do not smoke
q Lose weight, if you are overweight
q Get moving
q Limit the fat in your diet
q Balance the type of fat you eat
q Watch your cholesterol intake
q Concentrate on complex carbohydrates
q Find more fiber
q Limit sodium and salt
q Drink alcohol with moderation and , if you do, choose red wine
q Read food labels
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