Cardiovascular diseases are of outstanding public health relevance because they are the number one cause of death in the western world. Cardiovascular epidemiology investigates the links between distribution and determinants of disease.
Risk factors include
- Increased blood pressure,
- Elevated cholesterol levels and
- Diabetes mellitus.
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Cardiovascular diseases mainly affect the heart and the arterial blood supply of the heart and brain as well as the peripheral tissues. They cause a major portion of the global disease burden and are therefore of outstanding public health relevance. Cardiovascular epidemiology deals with the underlying causes of these diseases and possible measures for their prevention. Epidemiological studies have highlighted the primary role of arteriosclerotic vascular changes in the development of cardiovascular disease at the population level. In addition, epidemiological studies have documented the classical cardiovascular risk factors smoking, increased blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and diabetes mellitus. They have demonstrated the possibility of reducing the cardiovascular risk by controlling these risk factors, i.e. through lifestyle change and drug therapy. Current research in the field of cardiovascular epidemiology is manifold. At the Institute of Public Health research in cardiovascular epidemiology is about risk factors and determinants in the development and progression of different cardiovascular disease phenotypes.