Invited Commentary

Commentary on “Effect of Patients’ Awareness of CVD Risk Factors on Health-Related Behaviors”

Authors: Thomas F. Heston, MD


During the last several decades, there has been a large and steady drop in the age-standardized death from cardiovascular disease. These advances have come largely from improved diagnostic and treatment technologies that positively affect patients with established disease. Nevertheless, there are limits of treating established disease and to continue the positive trends in reducing cardiovascular disease, greater advances will need to be made in prevention. With this in mind, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended the implementation of a population-based approach to prevent cardiovascular disease.1Their recommendations for national health goals focus on the adoption of four ideal health behaviors (not smoking, maintaining a healthy body mass index, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet) and the achievement of three ideal health factors (untreated total cholesterol <200 mg/dL, untreated blood pressure <120/80 mm Hg, and a fasting blood glucose of <100 mg/dL). The goal is to achieve a population-wide improvement of 20% for these seven factors by 2020, with a resultant 20% reduction in death from cardiovascular disease.

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