Strategies for Heart Disease and Stroke Risk Reduction

Updated:Jul 17,2014

Strategies for Heart Disease and Stroke Risk Reduction

  • Almost 83 million US adults have some form of cardiovascular disease; 80% of which could be prevented by adopting healthy behaviors.
  • Adopting heart healthy habits early in life can deter the harmful effects of atherosclerosis and promote lower cardiovascular disease risk into adulthood.
  • Knowledge of risk and cultural disparities may pose barriers to prevention of heart disease and stroke in some populations.

Lifetime Risks of Cardiovascular Disease
Berry JD, Dyer A, Cai X, Garside DB, Ning H, Thomas A, Greenland P, Van Horn L, Tracy RP, Lloyd-Jones DM. N Engl J Med. 2012 Jan 26;366(4):321-9.
  • A report of cardiovascular disease lifetime risk across the lifespan in black and white adults
  • Optimal risk-factor profile at age 50 was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease death through age 80 as compared with those who had two or more major risk factors.
  • Lower lifetime risks for coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke were also observed.  Similar trends were observed for blacks and whites.
Reduction of Risk for Cardiovascular Disease in Children and Adolescents
Daniels SR, Pratt CA, Hayman LL. Circulation. 2011 Oct 11;124(15):1673-86.
  • In this report current evidence and recommendations are summarized regarding the epidemiology of risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in childhood.
  • The recommended clinical approaches to prevention of risk factors, cut points for identifying risk factors, and approaches for improving high-risk status once it has developed are outlined.
Healthy Lifestyle Through Young Adulthood and the Presence of Low Cardiovascular Disease Risk Profile in Middle Age: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in (Young) Adults (CARDIA) Study
Liu K, Daviglus ML, Loria CM, Colangelo LA, Spring B, Moller AC, Lloyd-Jones DM. Circulation 2012 Feb 28;125(8):996-1004.
  • An examination of 18 to 30 year olds from the CARDIA study to determine if maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout young adulthood is associated with low cardiovascular disease risk profile later in life.
  • Healthy lifestyle included having average body mass index (<25 kg/m2), no or moderate alcohol intake, higher healthy diet score, higher physical activity score, and never smoking.
  • A higher number of these healthy habits as a young adult created a graded association with lower cardiovascular disease risk in middle age.
The Relationship between Knowledge and Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke
Lambert C, Vinson S, Shofer F, Brice J. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2012 Mar 10.
  • A study comparing knowledge and risk of stroke and myocardial infarction in the adult population.
  • Results found that knowledge scores decreased as cardiovascular risk increased.
  • Overall, knowledge of stroke and myocardial infarction risk factors, signs, and symptoms were low; however, knowledge of myocardial infarction was greater than for that of stroke at all levels of risk.


Behavioral Strategies for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in Diverse and Underserved Racial/Ethnic Groups
Stuart-Shor EM, Berra KA, Kamau MW, Kumanyika SK. Circulation 2012;125:171-184.
  • An overview is given of disparities and cultural issues in cardiovascular health, lifestyle related risks, and health care.
  • Evidence-based strategies to utilize established risk reduction interventions in diverse and underserved racial/ethnic groups are examined.
  • Practical approaches are offered to achieve primary and secondary prevention in these populations.

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