Journal of Geriatric Cardiology 2012/9:3 PP.305-317
A recent explosion in the amount of cardiovascular risk has swept across the globe. Primary prevention is the preferred method to lower cardiovascular risk. Lowering the prevalence of obesity is the most urgent matter, and is pleiotropic since it affects blood pressure, lipid profiles, glucose metabolism, inflammation, and atherothrombotic disease progression. Given the current obstacles, success of primary prevention remains uncertain. At the same time, the consequences of delay and inaction will inevitably be disastrous, and the sense of urgency mounts. Pathological and epidemiological data confirm that atherosclerosis begins in early childhood, and advances seamlessly and inexorably throughout life. Risk factors in childhood are similar to those in adults, and track between stages of life. When indicated, aggressive treatment should begin at the earliest indication, and be continued for many years. For those patients at intermediate risk according to global risk scores, C-reactive protein, coronary artery calcium, and carotid intima-media thickness are available for further stratification. Using statins for primary prevention is recommended by guidelines, is prevalent, but remains under prescribed. Statin drugs are unrivaled, evidence-based, major weapons to lower cardiovascular risk. Even when low density lipoprotein cholesterol targets are attained, over half of patients continue to have disease progression and clinical events. Though clinical evidence is incomplete, altering or raising the blood high density lipoprotein cholesterol level continues to be pursued. The aim of this review is to point out the attention of key aspects of vulnerable plaques regarding their pathogenesis and treatment.
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