Targeting Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors May Be Important Across a Lifetime
New findings suggest that all adults, including those over 65, should be mindful of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The results, published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, are part of the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, which looks at stroke incidence in approximately 30,000 individuals. The REGARDS study is funded by NINDS.
“As life expectancy continues to increase, we need to improve risk factor prevention and management for stroke and heart disease across the lifespan, including for those adults over the age of 65,” said one of the study authors, Dr. Claudia Moy of NINDS. “The latest findings from the REGARDS study reveal that no age group is immune to risk factors related to cardiovascular disease and that prevention efforts should target all adults.”
In the current study, researchers examined individuals over the course of 10 years to determine how many developed risk factors known to be associated with stroke and heart disease. The study included a sample of black and white Americans, with more than half of the participants living in the Stroke Belt, an area of the southeastern U.S. where stroke mortality is higher than in the rest of the country.
“In addition to improving treatment and control of potent risk factors for stroke and heart disease, finding ways to prevent development of those risk factors may be a potential strategy to lower rates of cardiovascular disease across the age span, but especially in black Americans,” said Moy.