Over three-quarters of all cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality could be prevented by making adequate lifestyle changes, the WHO has claimed.
Our chances of succumbing to (CVD) are strongly connected to our lifestyles. Smoking, an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and stress can all take their toll.
CVD prevention is a society-wide effort, and needs a co-ordinated set of actions at both public and individual level.
Health experts use cardiovascular epidemiology and evidence based medicine to uncover the most effective paths to prevention.
According to the experts behind the review, atherosclerotic CVD (furring of the arteries) remains the leading cause of premature death worldwide.
CVD affects both men and women; of all deaths that occur before age 75 in Europe, 42 percent are due to CVD in women and 38 percent in men.
Over 50 percent of the reductions seen in coronary heart disease mortality relate to changes in risk factors, and 40 percent to improved treatments.
This is a lifelong endeavour – we should begin efforts to prevent CVD from birth – if not before.
In terms of prevention, the experts say it’s not just those most at risk that should be targeted. Education programmes aimed at the entire population are still needed.
Even though there are some gaps in our understanding, there is ample evidence to justify intensive public health and individual preventive efforts.
The guidelines on CVD prevention in clinical practice will be published in the Journal of Preventive Cardiology.