Summary of key learnings

Burden of cardiovascular disease:
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD), particularly Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) and ischaemic stroke, is the main cause of premature mortality in Europe resulting in over 4 million deaths each year1

CVD


Impact of dietary and lifestyle changes on CVD prevention:
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) states that more than three-quarters of CVD mortality may be prevented with adequate changes in lifestyle2
  • European Society of Cardiology/European Atherosclerosis Society guidelines on the prevention of CVD, state that dietary modifications should form the basis for CVD prevention1

WHO


Lowering LDL-cholesterol - a central target of CVD prevention:
  • Increased plasma total cholesterol (TC), in particular LDL-cholesterol is a known cause of coronary atherosclerosis
  • Lowering total and LDL-cholesterol is the key therapeutic target for reducing CVD risk
  • Nutritional and behaviour changes have been shown to lower LDL-cholesterol levels by up to 20%

LDL-cholesterol


European guidelines on the use of plant sterols/stanols to lower cholesterol:
  • The ESC/EAS recommend the daily consumption of foods with added plant sterols/stanols (approximately 2 g/day) as part of dietary changes as an effective way to lower LDL-cholesterol levels by up to 10%, in patients at all levels of CV risk 3,4,5

ESC/EAS


Motivating patients to make dietary changes:
  • Work with patients' dietary preferences, motivating them to substitute unhealthy options for healthier ones using the patient fact sheet

Motivation

References:

1. European Society of Cardiology. European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics. 2012 http://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Initiatives/EuroHeart/2012-European-Cardiovascular-Disease-Statistics.

2. World Health Organization. What can I do to avoid a heart attack or a stroke? http:// www.who.int/features/qa/27/en/ (accessed 7 May 2014).

3. Perk J, De Backer G, Gohlke H et al. European Guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention in clinical practice (version 2012). The Fifth Joint Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and Other Societies on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice (constituted by representatives of nine societies and by invited experts). Eur Heart J 2012;33(13):1635-1701.

4. Catapano AL, Reiner Z, De Backer G et al. ESC/EAS Guidelines for the management of dyslipidaemias The Task Force for the management of dyslipidaemias of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS). Atherosclerosis 2011;217(1):3-46.

5. Gylling H, Plat J, Turley S, Ginsberg HN, Ellegård L, Jessup W, Jones PJ, Lütjohann D, Maerz W, Masana L, Silbernagel G, Staels B, Borén J, Catapano AL, De Backer G, Deanfield J, Descamps OS, Kovanen PT, Riccardi G, Tokgözoglu L, Chapman MJ; European Atherosclerosis Society Consensus Panel on Phytosterols. Plant sterols and plant stanols in the management of dyslipidaemia and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis 2014; 232(2): 346-60.