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J Family Community Med. 1995 Jan;2(1):19-26.

Cardiovascular risk and risk reduction: a review of recent literature.

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Department of Family & Community Health, College of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman.


An account is given of recent literature regarding the major cardiovascular risk factors. It considers high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking, as well as insulin resistance and its metabolic consequences. The focus is on the current available evidence in terms of causal associations of these risk factors with the occurrence of cardiovascular disease, and the evidence of the benefits of risk factor lowering. The multiplicative effect of risk factors and their multifactorial role in the genesis of cardiovascular disease is now firmly established and will affect the mode of approach to preventive measures. The main preventive options currently available are twofold, a population-wide approach and a high risk approach. The suitability of primary health care as one of the main providers of preventive care is today widely acknowledged. The need for cardiovascular risk assessment to be multifactorial and made in terms of overall actual risk is of paramount importance. The implications of this overall issue for countries like those of the Middle East, where the prevalence of cardiovascular disease is on the rise, are of great concern.


cardiovascular risk; preventive strategies; risk reduction


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