Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Knowing true age of your heart key to curbing lifetime heart disease risk

Date:
March 25, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Understanding the true age of your heart is key to curbing the lifetime risk of developing -- and dying from -- heart disease, say new consensus recommendations on how best to stave off the worldwide epidemic of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease deaths have almost halved over the past 40-50 years, particularly in high income countries, thanks largely to the identification of the common risk factors involved and national public health initiatives, say the authors.

The Joint British Societies' consensus recommendations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (JBS3), which have been drawn up by 11 UK professional societies and charitable organizations, are based on the latest available scientific evidence.

They emphasize the importance of putting patients in the driving seat and starting preventive action early on, using a new method of risk assessment -- the JBS3 risk calculator.

Heart disease deaths have almost halved over the past 40-50 years, particularly in high income countries, thanks largely to the identification of the common risk factors involved and national public health initiatives, say the authors.

But "despite impressive progress, there is much still to be achieved in the prevention and management of cardiovascular care, with no room for complacency," they point out.

CVD "is by far and away the leading cause of deaths worldwide," and is "rampant" in low and middle income countries, while the surge in obesity and diabetes threatens to overturn the steady decline made in CVD prevalence, they emphasize.

And rates of heart disease continue to vary substantially depending on where a person lives and how well off s/he is.

The new recommendations extend the current focus of preventive treatment from targeting only those at high short term (within the next 10 years) risk of a heart attack/stroke to those whose familial and lifestyle factors at a younger age indicate a low short term risk, but a high lifetime risk of developing CVD.

The approach is based on the growing body of evidence showing that there is a long build-up (pre-clinical phase) to CVD, and that most heart attacks and strokes occur in people who are in the 'intermediate' risk category.

Nevertheless, "most surveys suggest that the majority of the public underestimate their lifetime risk of developing and dying of CVD, considering cancer to be a greater threat despite robust evidence to the contrary," say the authors.

To try and stop CVD in its tracks and stave off the associated ill health and disability, the recommendations therefore include the JBS3 risk calculator, which aims to help healthcare professionals and patients better understand cumulative lifetime risk, and what can be done to lower it.

A key component of the calculator is a better understanding of the true age of the heart. This is worked out using current familial and lifestyle risk factors, and used to predict how many more years that individual can expect to live before s/he has a heart attack/stroke compared with someone without these particular factors -- if no corrective action is taken.

So, for example, a 35 year old woman smoker, with a systolic blood pressure of 160 mm Hg and a total cholesterol of 7 mmol/l, plus a family history of premature CVD, would have a true heart age of 47 and expect to survive to the age of 71 without having a heart attack/stroke. Her 10 year risk would be less than 2%.

But if this woman quit smoking, cut her total cholesterol to 4 mmol/l and her systolic blood pressure to 130 mm Hg, her heart age would fall to 30. She could expect to live to the age of 85 before having a heart attack/stroke and more than halve her 10 year risk to less than 0.25%.

The JBS3 risk calculator will be a pivotal component of the NHS Health Check program in England aimed at 40-74 year olds, but is not intended to prompt blanket prescribing of statins and other heart health drugs, say the authors.

"It is important to emphasize that, for the majority, the strong message will be the potential gains from an early and sustained change to a healthier lifestyle rather than prescription of drugs," they emphasize.

Lifestyle changes include quitting smoking, adopting a healthy diet, and boosting the amount of regular exercise while curbing sedentary activity.

"Acute cardiovascular care is expensive and with life expectancy continuing to rise, the prevalence of CVD continues to increase," write the authors. "The lifesaving gains made through national investment in acute cardiovascular care over more than a decade now need to be complemented by a modern and integrated approach to cardiovascular prevention," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. N. Boon, R. Boyle, K. Bradbury, J. Buckley, S. Connolly, S. Craig, J. Deanfield, P. Doherty, M. Feher, K. Fox, D. Goldsmith, P. Grant, A. Hingorani, R. Hobbs, P. Home, S. Jackson, C. Jennings, J. Keenan, M. Kirby, M. Knapton, L. Lovelidge, D. Neely, M. Pearson, J. Potter, N. Poulter, D. Preiss, A. Rees, N. Sattar, I. Simpson, F. Sivers, D. Spiegelhalter, G. Stansby, P. Stevens, M. Taal, C. Taylor, P. C. Taylor, P. Weissberg, D. Wheeler, J. Wilding, B. Williams, P. Winocour, D. Wood. Joint British Societies' consensus recommendations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (JBS3). Heart, 2014; 100 (Suppl 2): ii1 DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2014-305693

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Knowing true age of your heart key to curbing lifetime heart disease risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325210633.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, March 25). Knowing true age of your heart key to curbing lifetime heart disease risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325210633.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Knowing true age of your heart key to curbing lifetime heart disease risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325210633.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins