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      Preventive Cardiology and Its Potential Influence on the Early Natural History of Adult Heart Diseases: The Bogalusa Heart Study and the Heart Smart Program


      The American Journal of the Medical Sciences

      Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)

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          Observations from pediatric epidemiology studies over the past 20 years document that atherosclerosis and essential hypertension begin in childhood. Evidence of coronary artery disease and hypertensive cardiovascular renal disease is found and relates strongly to clinical cardiovascular risk factors. Obesity, especially central obesity, and hyperinsulinemia are commonly found, and these cluster with other risk factors. Lifestyles, such as poor eating behavior and tobacco usage, also begin early and influence cardiovascular risk. The implication from these pediatric observations is that intervention should begin early to prevent unhealthy lifestyles and encourage adoption of healthy behaviors. Where adult heart diseases pervade the major part of the United States population and other industrialized cultures, various epidemiologic strategies of prevention are needed. A high-risk, clinical approach can be applied to individuals with heart disease or to individuals with underlying risk factors and their families. Primary and secondary prevention are both important and should be implemented by primary care physicians. A population approach is also needed because of the widespread occurrence of heart disease. A public health approach to prevention can occur through health education and health promotion programs. Physicians should play a role in encouraging prevention for the general population. The future direction of Preventive Cardiology for our nation rests on educating children to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. The Bogalusa Heart Study has made a major contribution in providing the background information for that direction.

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          Author and article information

          The American Journal of the Medical Sciences
          The American Journal of the Medical Sciences
          Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
          December 1995
          December 1995
          : 310
          : S133-S138
          © 1995


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