Traditional Modifiable CVD Risk Factors

Defining CMR - Epidemiology


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of death among adults in most regions of the world. Among adults over 40 years of age, almost half of men and one-third of women will develop CHD in their lifetime. CHD causes half of all cardiovascular events in men and women under 75 years of age. There is now considerable evidence to suggest that most coronary events may be preventable. For instance, the relationship between CHD and traditional risk factors, such as cholesterol and lipid levels, blood pressure, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle, is well established and has been reported in several populations. Aggressive efforts to assess and control/prevent these major risk factors can significantly reduce CHD morbidity and mortality, increase overall longevity, and ultimately lower healthcare costs.



Key Points

  • The relationship between blood pressure and CVD events is continuous, consistent, and independent of other risk factors.
  • The higher the blood pressure, the greater the chance of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney disease.
  • Hypertension prevalence varies with sex and ethnicity and increases with age.


Read more on Hypertension.



Key Points

  • Cigarette smoking is a major preventable risk factor that must be targeted as part of CVD prevention and management.
  • Cigarette smokers are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop CHD than non-smokers.
  • There is a significant dose response relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked and the relative risk of CHD and stroke.
  • When compared to non-obese smokers, obese smokers have a clear reduction in life expectancy.
  • Passive smoking and exposure to environmental smoke significantly increase the relative risk of CHD and stroke.
  • Quitting smoking has been shown to have a definite, positive impact on overall health.


Read more on Smoking.