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J Vasc Surg. 2009 May;49(5):1348-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2008.12.046.

What a vascular surgeon should know and do about atherosclerotic risk factors.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, University Hospital Attikon, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece.


Atherosclerosis is a systematic disease presenting with a significant overlapping of cardiovascular disorders implicating coronary heart disease and its equivalents, peripheral arterial disease, carotid arterial disease, and aneurysm disease. Evaluating patient's atherosclerotic risk profile is essential to guide primary and secondary prevention. Atherosclerotic risk factor modifications reduce, significantly, cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity, particularly in high-risk patients. This article provides a reference guide for all conventional (eg, smoking, dyslipidemia, hypertension) and evolving (eg, homocysteine, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, inflammatory markers) risk factors of atherosclerosis and recommends the currently effective strategies for an overall cardiovascular risk reduction. As vascular surgeons, by definition, conduct the overall management of patients with vascular disease understanding of the development, assessment, and management of atherosclerotic risk factors should remain among their highest priorities.

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