Health Factors Associated with Cardiovascular Wellness
Purpose of Review
In this review, we discuss a new paradigm for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) prevention that is focused on cultivating cardiovascular wellness through the promotion of “health factors.”
Cardiovascular prevention efforts have contributed to falling rates of ASCVD over the past five decades. However, contemporary increases in obesity and diabetes have led to a recent slowing in the annual decline of ASCVD death rates. This slowing represents an opportunity for new thinking to change the current ASCVD prevention paradigm, i.e., the identification and treatment or control of risk factors for disease. Indeed, a new paradigm focusing on cultivating cardiovascular wellness in addition to preventing disease is gaining increased traction. With this approach, the goal of ASCVD prevention is shifting to include consideration of both treating “risk factors” and cultivating health factors. Importantly, cardiovascular wellness is more than just the absence of disease and, therefore, risk factors and health factors are not always mere opposites.
We review healthy lifestyle tools such as the American Heart Association Life’s simple 7 and Fuster-BEWAT score. We summarize landmark studies of interventions aimed at improving adherence to health factors. We highlight the inherent limitations of current studies to adequately examine cardiovascular wellness. We propose new study designs that are required to identify novel health factors and measures of wellness. We conclude with recommendations regarding the utility of health factors and cardiovascular wellness in current practice.
KeywordsWellness Cardiovascular health Health factors Cardiovascular disease prevention
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Mahmoud Al Rifai, Miguel Cainzos-Achirica, Michael J. Blaha, Kelly Arps, David A. Wood, Roger S. Blumenthal, and John W. McEvoy declare no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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