Chapter 12

Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Behavioral Modification

Lekshmi Dharmarajan


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, overtaking communicable diseases, a trend that is likely to get worse. American Heart Association impact goals for cardiovascular health recommends behavioral modification pertinent to life style measures such as physical activity, diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Global burden of cardiovascular disease stresses the importance of public and private sectors and governmental involvement in addressing the problem. A heart healthy diet is of value in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, based on the Mediterranean diet or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating pattern. Dietary measures must be taken in conjunction with physical activity, with some physical activity always better than none. Smoking cessation is never too late to implement; physicians need to spend adequate time in effective counseling. Alcohol consumption is not to be encouraged; excessive drinking is harmful, while benefits may be apparent with alcohol consumption in moderate amounts.

Total Pages: 192-214 (23)

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