Indexed on: 15 Jun '11Published on: 15 Jun '11Published in: Annales de Cardiologie et d'Angéiologie
Cardiovascular diseases are mainly caused by atherosclerosis, the development of which is highly dependent on our Western lifestyle. Slowing this pathology depends on the reduction of risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure, smoking, lack of physical activity, excess weight and diabetes. Drug treatment exists and is very effective, but too often they treat the immediate abnormality such as diabetes, high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia and not the underlying causes: poor eating habits, lack of physical activity and excess weight. These have a negative impact on endothelial function, oxidative stress, and can trigger inflammation, arrythmias and thrombosis. Cardiovascular prevention must therefore target sedentary lifestyle, excess weight, and favor low-calorie, low-salt food and Mediterranean diet. The way this diet works begins to be understood and goes beyond simple cardiovascular prevention. Therapeutic education holds a growing and complementary role in the Public Health system which should call upon the strengths of all healthcare professionals.