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Editorial
August 20, 2003

Major Risk Factors for Cardiovascular DiseaseDebunking the "Only 50%" Myth

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Chest Pain Center, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

JAMA. 2003;290(7):947-949. doi:10.1001/jama.290.7.947

Conventional wisdom (or misconception) holds that the 4 major modifiable traditional cardiovascular risk factors—smoking, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia—account for "only 50%" of those who go on to develop coronary heart disease (CHD),1,2 even though the original source of this claim is not well documented. Thus, over the past decade, a search to discover novel markers and other nontraditional risk factors to assess cardiovascular risk has come to the forefront.

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