Items in AFP with MESH term: Coronary Disease
ABSTRACT: Nearly one half of Americans die of cardiovascular disease. The morbidity and mortality associated with coronary artery disease is strongly related to abnormal lipid levels, oxidation of lipids and intra-arterial clot formation. Nutrition powerfully influences each of these factors. There is growing evidence that patients can improve lipid levels and decrease the rate of cardiovascular events by "adding" specific foods to their diets and switching from saturated and polyunsaturated to monounsaturated fats and n-3 fatty acids. Appropriate dietary changes decrease arteriosclerotic plaque formation, improve endothelial vasomotor dynamics, reduce oxidation of low-density lipoproteins and enhance thrombolytic activity. Brief discussions between physicians and patients can influence patients' food choices. Changes in diet can reduce the premature mortality and morbidity associated with coronary artery disease.
Preventing Congestive Heart Failure - Article
ABSTRACT: The morbidity, mortality and health care costs associated with congestive heart failure make prevention a more attractive public health strategy than treatment. Aggressive management of etiologic factors, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, valvular disease and excessive alcohol intake, can prevent the left ventricular remodeling and dysfunction that lead to heart failure. Early intervention with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in patients with chronic left ventricular dysfunction can prevent, as well as treat, the syndrome. Several intervention strategies in patients with acute myocardial infarction can slow or prevent the left ventricular remodeling process that antedates congestive heart failure. The primary care physician must be alert to the need for aggressive intervention to reduce the burden of heart failure syndrome on the patient and on society.
Management of Dyslipidemia in Adults - Article
ABSTRACT: The importance of treating dyslipidemias based on cardiovascular risk factors is highlighted by the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines. The first step in evaluation is to exclude secondary causes of hyperlipidemia. Assessment of the patient's risk for coronary heart disease helps determine which treatment should be initiated and how often lipid analysis should be performed. For primary prevention of coronary heart disease, the treatment goal is to achieve a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level of less than 160 mg per dL (4.15 mmol per L) in patients with only one risk factor. The target LDL level in patients with two or more risk factors is 130 mg per dL (3.35 mmol per L) or less. For patients with documented coronary heart disease, the LDL cholesterol level should be reduced to less than 100 mg per dL (2.60 mmol per L). A step II diet, in which the total fat content is less than 30 percent of total calories and saturated fat is 8 to 10 percent of total calories, may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels to the target range in some patients. A high-fiber diet is also therapeutic. The most commonly used options for pharmacologic treatment of dyslipidemia include bile acid-binding resins, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, nicotinic acid and fibric acid derivatives. Other possibilities in selected cases are estrogen replacement therapy, plasmapheresis and even surgery in severe, refractory cases.
ABSTRACT: Both isolated systolic hypertension (>140 mm Hg/<90 mm Hg) and systolic/diastolic hypertension (>140 mm Hg/>90 mm Hg) are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the elderly. Specific antihypertensive drug therapy is available if lifestyle interventions fail to reduce blood pressure to a normal level. Diuretics and beta blockers both reduce the occurrence of adverse events related to cerebrovascular disease; however, diuretics are more effective in reducing events related to coronary heart disease. Treated patients are less likely to develop severe hypertension or congestive heart failure. In most instances, low-dose diuretic therapy should be used as initial antihypertensive therapy in the elderly. A long-acting dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker may be used as alternative therapy in elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension. Trials are being conducted to evaluate the long-term effects of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin-II receptor blockers in elderly patients with uncomplicated hypertension.
ABSTRACT: Lowering cholesterol can reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease. Treating hypertension reduces overall mortality and is most effective in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease in older patients. Smoking cessation reduces the level of risk to that of nonsmokers within about three years of cessation. Aspirin is likely to be an effective means of primary prevention, but a group in whom treatment is appropriate has yet to be defined. Evidence that supplementation with vitamin A or C reduces the risk of coronary heart disease is inadequate; the data for use of vitamin E are inconclusive. Epidemiologic evidence is sufficient to recommend that most persons increase their levels of physical activity. Lowering homocysteine levels through increased folate intake is a promising but unproven primary prevention strategy. Hormone replacement therapy was associated with reduced incidence of coronary heart disease in epidemiologic studies but was not effective in a secondary prevention trial.
ABSTRACT: Clinical use of antioxidant vitamin supplementation may help to prevent coronary heart disease (CHD). Epidemiologic studies find lower CHD morbidity and mortality in persons who consume larger quantities of antioxidants in foods or supplements. Clinical trials indicate that supplementation with certain nutrients is beneficial in reducing the incidence of CHD events. Recent studies show that supplementation with antioxidant vitamins E and C have benefits in CHD prevention; however, supplementation with beta-carotene may have deleterious effects and is not recommended. Current evidence suggests that patients with CHD would probably benefit from taking vitamin E in a dosage of 400 IU per day and vitamin C in a dosage of 500 to 1,000 mg per day. Clinicians may also want to consider vitamin supplementation for CHD prevention in high-risk patients. Folate lowers elevated homocysteine levels, but evidence for routine supplemental use does not yet exist. Other nutritional supplements are currently under investigation.
Managing Menopause - Article
ABSTRACT: Many women will spend one third of their lifetime after menopause. A growing number of options are available for the treatment of menopausal symptoms like vasomotor instability and vaginal atrophy, as well as the long-term health risks such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis that are associated with menopause. Currently, hormone replacement therapy (estrogen with or without progestin) is the primary treatment for the symptoms and long-term risks associated with menopause. However, recent evidence calls into question the protective effect of estrogen on cardiovascular disease risk. The association of risk for breast cancer with estrogen replacement therapy also has not been fully clarified. In addition, many women cannot or choose not to take hormones. For treatment of osteoporosis and heart disease, pharmacologic choices include antiresorptive agents such as bisphosphonates and calcitonin, and estrogens or selective estrogen receptor modulators such as raloxifene. In addition, complementary options that include vitamins, herbal treatments, exercise and other lifestyle adaptations are gaining increased interest. The growing number of choices and questions in this area emphasizes the need to individualize a treatment plan for each woman to meet her specific needs.
ABSTRACT: Primary and secondary prevention trials have shown that use of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (also known as statins) to lower an elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level can substantially reduce coronary events and death from coronary heart disease. In 1987 and 1993, the National Cholesterol Education Program promulgated guidelines for cholesterol screening and treatment. Thus far, however, primary care physicians have inadequately adopted these guidelines in clinical practice. A 1991 study found that cholesterol screening was performed in only 23 percent of patients. Consequently, many patients with elevated low-density lipoprotein levels and a high risk of primary or recurrent ischemic events remain unidentified and untreated. A study published in 1998 found that fewer than 15 percent of patients with known coronary heart disease have low-density lipoprotein levels at the recommended level of below 100 mg per dL (2.60 mmol per L). By identifying patients with elevated low-density lipoprotein levels and instituting appropriate lipid-lowering therapy, family physicians could help prevent cardiovascular events and death in many of their patients.