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Risk Assessment in CVD

  • Marcus DörrEmail author
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Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) represents the most common cause of death worldwide. The underlying atherosclerosis starts already early in life and progresses over a long period until the first symptoms occur. Development and progression of CVD can be slowed down or prevented by improving modifiable risk factors by lifestyle modifications (e.g., promotion of physical activity, smoking cessation) and preventive medication (e.g., lipid-lowering drugs, antihypertensive medication). In apparently healthy people, CVD risk is most commonly the consequence of multiple interacting risk factors. Several multivariate risk estimation systems are available for evaluating the 10-year risk of future CVD events in apparently healthy individuals and for supporting individual management decisions. However, no single risk model is appropriate for all patients and a specific tool for CVD risk assessment has to be chosen based on patient-specific characteristics (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity). Since age alone is a strong CVD risk factor, younger people may have a low absolute risk but a very high relative risk, and calculating the lifetime risk may help in advising them of the need for intensive lifestyle modifications. Certain individuals are regarded as having a high CVD risk without the need for risk scoring and require immediate attention to their risk factors (e.g., patients with diabetes mellitus). Recommendations for preventive measures in subjects without existing CVD are based on the individual’s risk level. Improvement of risk factors reduces morbidity and mortality. It is currently not clear whether assessment of the total CVD risk per se may help to reduce CVD events.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine B (Cardiology, Angiology and Pneumology)University Medicine GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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