The Role of Healthy Lifestyle in the Primordial Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
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Whereas primary prevention seeks to forestall development of disease in individuals with elevated risk, primordial prevention seeks to preempt the development of risk factors. Health behaviors—characterized as “lifestyle” factors—are key interventional targets in primordial prevention of cardiovascular disease. Appropriate dietary intake, including limiting salt and saturated fat consumption, can reduce the risk of developing hypertension and dyslipidemias. Regular physical activity is associated with lower blood pressure and healthier lipid profiles. Diet and exercise are critical to maintaining weight conducive to cardiovascular health. Behavioral factors such as stress management, sleep duration, portion control, and meal timing may play a role in weight management and offer additional routes of intervention. Any smoking elevates cardiovascular risk. Although lifestyle modification programs can be instrumental in reaching public health goals, maintaining cardiovascular health should not be a matter solely of willpower. Ideally, structural and social forces should make healthy lifestyles the default option.
KeywordsPrimordial prevention Lifestyle Behavioral intervention Cardiovascular health
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Steven A. Claas and Donna K. Arnett declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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This review article does not contain any previously unpublished data arising from studies of human or animal subjects performed by either of the authors.
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