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Am J Lifestyle Med. 2018 Dec 2;13(2):204-212. doi: 10.1177/1559827618812395. eCollection 2019 Mar-Apr.

Lifestyle Strategies for Risk Factor Reduction, Prevention, and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease.

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Rippe Lifestyle Institute, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.


Daily habits and actions powerfully affect the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), in general, and coronary heart disease, in particular. Regular physical activity, sound nutrition, weight management, and not smoking cigarettes have all been demonstrated to significantly reduce the risk of CVD. In 2 large cohort studies a reduction of risk of CVD of >80% and diabetes >90% were demonstrated in individuals who followed a cluster of these lifestyle practices. The study of the impact of lifestyle factors on CVD risk has coalesced under the framework of "lifestyle medicine." Despite the overwhelming evidence that lifestyle factors affect CVD, a distinct minority of individuals are following these practices. The American Heart Association estimates that only 5% of individuals follow all of these lifestyle factors as components of a strategy to achieve "ideal" cardiovascular health. The challenge to the medical and health care communities is to more aggressively incorporate this information into the daily practices of medicine.


Lifestyle medicine and cardiovascular disease; cardiovascular health; risk factor reduction

[Available on 2019-12-02]

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared the following potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Dr Rippe is Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (SAGE) and Editor-in-Chief of the comprehensive academic textbook Lifestyle Medicine (CRC Press, third edition to be published in spring, 2019). Dr Rippeā€™s research organization, Rippe Lifestyle Institute, has conducted numerous research studies in various aspects of lifestyle medicine, including physical activity, proper nutrition, and weight management and their impact on short- and long-term health and quality of life.

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