The Role of Healthy Lifestyle in the Primordial Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

  • Steven A. Claas
  • Donna K. ArnettEmail author
Lipid Abnormalities and Cardiovascular Prevention (G De Backer, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Lipid Abnormalities and Cardiovascular Prevention


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.


Primordial prevention Lifestyle Behavioral intervention Cardiovascular health 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Steven A. Claas and Donna K. Arnett declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This review article does not contain any previously unpublished data arising from studies of human or animal subjects performed by either of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, School of Public HealthUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.Dean’s Office, College of Public HealthUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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