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Invited Commentary
January 2014

Bending the Curve on Cardiovascular Risk

Author Affiliations
  • 1Office of Analytics and Business Intelligence, Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, Washington
  • 2Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 3Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(1):48-50. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9498

Cardiovascular risk reduction has been a cornerstone of cardiologic and primary care practice for almost half a century and by any measure has been an overwhelming success. Cardiovascular mortality in the United States has fallen dramatically during the past 4 decades, including a 33% decline in the last decade, largely attributable to improved management of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hypercholesterolemia, along with a reduction in smoking. Despite these dramatic achievements, cardiovascular disease still accounts for nearly one-quarter of all deaths in the country, higher than for cancer, the next leading cause.1 Moreover, there are serious concerns that much of the progress to date may be eroded by increasing rates of obesity and diabetes, raising mortality even higher.

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