Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Importantly, atherosclerosis begins at an early age, and the first manifestation of coronary heart disease is often a myocardial infarction or sudden cardiac death. It is therefore critical to aggressively evaluate and manage patients in the primary care setting to prevent a potentially fatal event from occurring. Although many novel risk factors are associated with coronary disease, the causal risk factors, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and smoking, deserve the most attention. Eliminating or decreasing one of these risk factors decreases risk. Many patients have more than one of the causal risk factors, which interact to amplify risk. As demonstrated in large epidemiologic studies, each causal risk factor is associated with the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) morbidity and mortality. Randomized placebo-controlled trials in hypertension and dyslipidemia, however, show that aggressive therapy decreases cardiovascular risk. A global approach to the management of risk factors, utilizing such tools as the Framingham Risk Score, allows physicians to determine the impact of one or more causal risk factors on future risk of developing CHD.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Advanced Studies in Medicine|
|Issue number||5 A|
|State||Published - Jun 1 2004|
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