Cardiovascular disease (CVD) ranks as the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among developed countries and is rapidly emerging as the predominant cause of death in many developing countries. There are numerous differences in incidence across ethnic groups and geographic regions within countries. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the predominant manifestation of CVD and responsible for the majority of cases of CVD in developed countries. Numerous longitudinal epidemiological studies conducted in the past 60 years have provided valuable insight into the natural history and risk factors associated with the development of and prognosis associated with CVD. Randomized clinical trials have demonstrated the value of treatment of several key risk factors, most notably hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, for both the primary and the secondary prevention of CVD. ...

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