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May 19, 1989

Cardiovascular Disease

JAMA. 1989;261(19):2829-2831. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420190105027

Options for patients with cardiovascular disease, particularly coronary artery disease, continued to expand in 1988, and the mortality from cardiovascular disease continued to decrease. In addition, insights into primary prevention of coronary artery disease have evolved.

The report of the National Cholesterol Education Program provided new guidelines for treating high blood cholesterol in people 20 years of age and older. The guidelines detail who should receive cholesterol-lowering treatment based on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and other risk factors for coronary heart disease.1 Diet or exercise influenced the levels of plasma lipids and lipoproteins in overweight, sedentary men in a 1-year, randomized controlled trial. Diet and exercise produced comparable favorable changes in plasma lipoprotein concentrations.2

The Physicians Health Study,3 a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial tested two hypotheses: (1) buffered aspirin (325 mg every other day) reduces mortality from cardiovascular disease, and (2) beta carotene (50 mg every other