The Role of Healthy Lifestyle in the Primordial Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Steven A. Claas, Donna K. Arnett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Whereas primary prevention seeks to forestall development of disease in individuals with elevated risk, primordial prevention seeks to preempt the development of risk factors. Health behaviors—characterized as “lifestyle” factors—are key interventional targets in primordial prevention of cardiovascular disease. Appropriate dietary intake, including limiting salt and saturated fat consumption, can reduce the risk of developing hypertension and dyslipidemias. Regular physical activity is associated with lower blood pressure and healthier lipid profiles. Diet and exercise are critical to maintaining weight conducive to cardiovascular health. Behavioral factors such as stress management, sleep duration, portion control, and meal timing may play a role in weight management and offer additional routes of intervention. Any smoking elevates cardiovascular risk. Although lifestyle modification programs can be instrumental in reaching public health goals, maintaining cardiovascular health should not be a matter solely of willpower. Ideally, structural and social forces should make healthy lifestyles the default option.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
JournalCurrent Cardiology Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Behavioral intervention
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Lifestyle
  • Primordial prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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