More than half of cardiovascular diseases in the world are caused by five risk factors


Scientists examined the impact of five modifiable risk factors on cardiovascular morbidity and all-cause mortality worldwide. The cumulative share of the 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease with a combination of all five factors exceeded 50%. In Russia this figure is slightly higher.

A team of scientists from the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf assessed the impact of five modifiable risk factors on the development of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. The results of the study were published in the journal NEJM.




The study involved 1.5 million people, with an average age of 54.4 years. During 7.3 years of follow-up, 80,596 people had incident cardiovascular disease, and 177,369 participants died during 8.7 years of follow-up. The effect on the risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality of five modifiable risk factors was assessed: body mass index, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, smoking and diabetes. The analysis took into account gender and age.

The cumulative proportion of 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease with a combination of all five factors was 57.2% in men and 52.6% in women. The corresponding 10-year risk values ​​for all-cause mortality were 22.2 and 19.1%, respectively.

In Eastern Europe and Russia, these rates were higher than average: the proportion of 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease due to a combination of factors was 60.2% for men and 57.6% for women. The proportion of 10-year all-cause mortality attributable to the combination of the five factors was 22.4 and 27.7%, respectively.

The most significant risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases, both in the general population and in Russia, is elevated systolic blood pressure. The most significant risk factor for death in Russia among men was smoking, and among women – increased systolic blood pressure.

The effect of increased body mass index was independent of age. In contrast, the effects of smoking, systolic blood pressure, and diabetes decreased with age. The effect of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels on the likelihood of cardiovascular disease also decreased slightly with age but remained stable with respect to all-cause mortality.



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