Hippokratia 2011; 15(1):7-11
The cardiovascular disease continuum (CVDC) is a sequence of cardiovascular events, which begins from a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors consisting of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, hypertension, smoking and visceral obesity. If these factors are not intervened with early, they will, inexorably, progress to atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, left ventricular hypertrophy, left ventricular dilatation leading to left ventricular diastolic or systolic dysfunction and eventually end stage heart failure and death. For this concise review, a Medline search of the English language literature between the years 2000 and 2009 was conducted and 33 pertinent publications were selected. Based on the evidence contained in these publications, it is possible that early intervention and treatment of the various cardiovascular risk factors, which initiate and perpetuate the CVDC, could prevent it or arrest its further progress. Therefore, this concise review will emphasize the early detection and treatment of the various cardiovascular risk factors, which initiate and perpetuate the CVDC.