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February 8, 2010

Providing Patients With Global Cardiovascular Risk Information: Is Knowledge Power?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Divisions of Preventive Medicine (Drs Ahmad and Mora), Internal Medicine (Dr Ahmad), and Cardiovascular Medicine (Dr Mora), Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(3):227-228. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.502

Studies performed by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that at least one-third of all disease burden in developed countries can be attributable to 5 modifiable risk factors: tobacco use, blood pressure level, cholesterol level, obesity, and alcohol use.1 Patients play a fundamental role in public health as they ultimately make decisions regarding how to lead their lives. These important choices have an impact on their health, the effectiveness of prescribed treatments, and their use of medical resources. Therefore, in order to improve the health of patients, the role of health care professionals extends beyond practicing evidence-based medicine to providing patients with an easy-to-understand assessment of their cardiovascular disease risk and the means to modify their risk.

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