The risks of developing CVD are not limited to cardiovascular disease. It is estimated that approximately 10 to 20% of all deaths are related to CVD.
There have been many attempts to understand the reasons why people are at risk of developing CVD and whether specific strategies can reduce this risk. The majority of the research on CVD prevention and treatment is based on observational studies based on self-reported data from people over the age of 50. There have been various approaches to identifying risk factors for CVD, particularly those that may be linked to CVD, like smoking. It is important to note that studies which study smoking, but do not use the prospective design, are at increased risk of introducing biases. A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2004 was a major success in that it demonstrated that smoking does not directly increase the risk of developing CVD.
For adults with CVD, there are various ways that people can reduce the risk of developing CVD. The most established method is to lose weight. One study published in the European Heart Journal that examined the risk of developing CVD was conducted between 1986 and 1994 in the Republic of Ireland. People who lost more than 5% of their daily energy intake were more than ten times as likely to develop CVD than those who did not lose any weight.
There are a number of lifestyle modifications that have been shown to have a large impact on improving health. The most important factor in reducing mortality risk is an active lifestyle, such as regular physical activity, regular intake of foods rich in important micronutrients, and moderate smoking. There are also a number of other important lifestyle changes that have been shown to improve health and quality of life. These include maintaining a healthy weight, maintaining a healthy body composition, and improving nutrition by following a nutritious diet.
In recent publications, it has been hypothesized that a higher intake of omega-3 fats and a more traditional diet may lower the risk of developing CVD. The primary findings of research have demonstrated that these diets are associated with improved risk of coronary heart disease in the general population. This is consistent with a number of other evidence-based guidelines including those from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
The other beneficial dietary change for CVD prevention is to maintain a healthy diet. A study by Bouchard and colleagues was an important breakthrough in that its results demonstrated that low-fat or Mediterranean diets can prevent the development of CVD. A low-fat diet is defined as a high-fat, low-carbohydrate content diet. Studies show that both diets are effective against CVD.
Cardiovascular disease risk appears to be higher among older adults and among middle-aged people, but it appears that this difference is greater among people with high-risk disease. A person with diabetes mellitus has an abnormal amount of white blood cells and the risk of developing CVD is increased.
Many factors can increase your risk for CVD like smoking, eating too many calories, and exercising too much. However, taking specific lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your risk for CVD. While people with diabetes can improve their health with lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes, including people with type 2 Diabetes, can have a serious illness requiring hospitalization such as acute myocardial infarction or stroke.
If you and your family are considering making lifestyle changes to improve your risk for CVD, make sure to discuss this with a health care professional.