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Editorial
July 11, 2017

Cardiovascular Risk Factor Control for All

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 3Senior Editor, JAMA
  • 4Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 5Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC), Madrid, Spain.
JAMA. 2017;318(2):130-131. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.7648

Identification and control of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are critical components in the prevention of CVD.1 Advantages of control of risk factors have been documented in numerous studies and have contributed substantially to national and global health policies for prevention of chronic disease. For example, Stamler et al2 studied 5 cohorts of young adult and middle-aged men, as well as middle-aged women, from the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry and screenees from the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. “Healthy factors” were defined as normal levels of major CVD risk factors (serum total cholesterol level less than or equal to 200 mg/dL; blood pressure less than or equal to 120/80 mm Hg; no diabetes; and no current smoking). Over 16 to 22 years of follow-up, Stamler et al observed 70% to 85% lower cardiovascular mortality, 40% to 60% lower total mortality, and 6 to 9 years’ greater predicted life expectancy among individuals having all of these healthy factors compared with those who had 1 or more elevated risk factors. Similar results were found among younger women (<40 years) from the Chicago cohorts and in longer-term follow-up.3

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