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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Studies Risk Prevention versus Risk Reduction Regarding CVD

In recent years, an important conceptual shift has emerged among epidemiologists and prevention experts in the quest to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by cardiovascular disease (CVD). Historically, the gaze has been fixed on death and disease, and public health efforts were designed working backward from morbidity and mortality: cardiovascular (CV) risk factors were identified, and campaigns were waged in clinics and homes to lower disease risk. In fact, these campaigns have been exceptionally successful in their reduction of the CVD mortality rates since the late 1960s.

Donna Arnett en las instalaciones del CNIC de Madrid el 13 de mayo de 2013
[Photo: Dr. Donna K. Arnett]

Today, Dr. Donna K. Arnett, professor and chair in the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, notes that researchers have turned the focus to primordial prevention, devised not to reduce current risk but to inhibit future risk. The efforts of advocates have effectively shifted from preventing disease to promoting health. For example, many elements of the American College of Cardiology’s CardioSmart program are directed toward primordial prevention through lifestyle choices in the realms of diet, exercise, and stress reduction.

“Healthy Habits, Healthy Women” was published online in January in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Journal article: