Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and a major cause of disability worldwide. In the United States, CVD accounted for 34.4 percent of the 2.4 million deaths in 2003 and remain a major cause of health disparities and rising health care costs. In 2006, health care spending and lost productivity from CVD exceeded 400 billion dollars. The aging population, obesity epidemic, underuse of prevention strategies, and suboptimal control of risk factors could exacerbate the future CVD burden. Increased adherence to clinical and community-level guidelines and renewed emphasis on policy, environmental, and lifestyle changes will be crucial for its effective prevention and control.
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