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Overview of the risk equivalents and established risk factors for cardiovascular disease

Peter WF Wilson, MD
Section Editor
Christopher P Cannon, MD
Deputy Editor
Brian C Downey, MD, FACC


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is common in the general population, affecting the majority of adults past the age of 60 years. In 2012 and 2013, CVD was estimated to result in 17.3 million deaths worldwide on an annual basis [1-3]. As a diagnostic category, CVD includes four major areas:

Coronary heart disease (CHD), manifested by myocardial infarction (MI), angina pectoris, heart failure, and coronary death

Cerebrovascular disease, manifested by stroke and transient ischemic attack

Peripheral artery disease, manifested by intermittent claudication

Aortic atherosclerosis and thoracic or abdominal aortic aneurysm


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