Guest Editor: Prof Richard Hobbs
The World Health Organization has implemented a global action plan for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCD) with an aim to reduce these by 25% in the next 5 years. The most important NCD cluster is cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is the first cause of mortality globally resulting in 17 million deaths per year via its main manifestations of myocardial infarction and stroke. Many of these deaths could be avoided or delayed by modifying several lifestyle risk factors including tobacco smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful alcohol use. Control of these risk factors at the population-wide level is being implemented through strategies, screening and policies in order to reduce the burden of heart disease and to lower global and regional cardiovascular disease risk.
Individual interventions are aimed at those with a high cardiovascular risk or those at risk of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease includes treatment with aspirin, beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and lipid lowering drugs, especially statins. Emerging evidence highlights novel therapies like proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors to be effective in lowering cholesterol.
Several societies in the UK, Europe and US that focus on cardiovascular diseases have recently updated their guidelines on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases some of which incorporate risk assessment tools to help reduce an individual’s risk of developing CVD. These are useful resources for all physicians and healthcare providers who are involved in the prevention of CVD.
This article collection in BMC Medicine seeks to tackle the important topic on prevention of CVD by highlighting modifiable lifestyle risk factors, population screening strategies, novel drug treatments, risk assessment tools and differences between guidelines. The collection will include original research articles as well as invited reviews and commentaries. If you have any research you would like us to consider for inclusion of the series, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.