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U.S. Adults Face Substantial Heart Disease Risk: Study
Date:11/5/2012

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- American men and women -- even those with a favorable health history -- have a significant risk of developing cardiovascular disease in their lifetime, a new study finds.

Overall, U.S. adults have a more than 55 percent estimated risk of developing cardiovascular disease, the Chicago researchers said.

Even among those with no major risk factors, the chance of developing cardiovascular disease is more than 30 percent, although it appears to strike later, the researchers said.

The study was published online Nov. 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with its presentation at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Los Angeles.

"Lifetime risks for total [cardiovascular disease] were high regardless of index age, indicating that achieving older age free of total [cardiovascular disease] does not guarantee escape from remaining lifetime risk for total [cardiovascular disease]," the researchers said in a journal news release.

They added that the finding of a substantial lifetime cardiovascular disease risk even among individuals with an optimal risk factor profile highlights "the large public health burden and opportunities for prevention of total [cardiovascular disease]."

The findings are from an analysis of data collected from 1964 through 2008 in five studies funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. All the participants were initially free of cardiovascular disease.

In this study, the researchers looked at major cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes and smoking, and calculated the participants' estimated overall lifetime risk (until age 95) for cardiovascular disease at ages 45, 55, 65 and 75.

Here are some of the highlights from the study, conducted by Dr. John Wilkins, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in
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