Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death for both women and men. Common traditional risk factors for CVD, such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and smoking have a high prevalence in women and in some cases a greater health impact compared with men. Nevertheless, risk factors are treated less often and less aggressively in women than in men, partly due to decreased awareness on the part of public health opinion makers, patients and physicians. About seventy five percent of all coronary heart disease deaths among women could be avoided if CVD risk factors like hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and smoking are adequately treated. This narrative review discusses the treatment of the 4 CVD risk factors, namely hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, smoking and diabetes. These risk factors were examined in the Framingham Heart study and years later they were found in the INTERHEART study to be the 4 most important risk factors for the development of CVD.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, gender, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, smoking.
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