n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Hypertension and cardiovascular risk factors : intervention by the family physician : main article

Volume 24, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



It must be remembered that not only are there risk factors predisposing a patient towards hypertension, but that hypertension itself is a risk factor for developing CVD. <BR>Hypertension, cigarette smoking, hypercholesterolaemia and diabetes are the principal risk factors for CVD. <BR>The hypertensive patient's likelihood of developing CVD depends more on the sum of his / her risk factors than on the bp alone. <BR>The risk of CVD in smokers is proportional to the number of cigarettes smoked and how deeply the smoker inhales. <BR>Total serum cholesterol values above 6.5 mmol/l are associated with a high risk of CAD. <BR>There is strong evidence that, in patients with insulin resistance, vascular abnormalities such as hypertension and atherosclerosis precede the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus. <BR>Obesity is strongly associated with the metabolic syndrome (a condition including obesity, high triglyceride levels, low HDL levels, high BP and high fasting plasma glucose levels). <BR>A family doctor should help the patient translate medical targets into realistic personal goals. <BR>Selection of an antihypertensive agent must be informed by the patient's individual risk profile, the likelihood of drug interaction and the accessibility of the medication to the patient. <BR>The Framingham Risk Scale (FRS) is a useful tool to calculate the 5-year absolute risk of a cardiovascular event (new angina, myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease, sudden death, stroke or transient ischaemic attack).

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