Introduction: Cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes mellitus, often cluster together and can also be seen with other pathophysiological conditions that greatly increase an individual's risk for cardiovascular morbidity and death. Aim of the study: This article emphasizes the importance of assessing and managing the total cardiovascular risk in an individual patient. Materials and methods: Suggestions and recommendations from the most current hypertension management guidelines have been integrated with results from the major clinical trials published in the last decade. Results: Based on a review of the epidemiological data on cardiovascular disease, this paper expands the concept of stratification of hypertensive patients according to the approximate added risk of major cardiovascular events in the next 10 years and stresses the importance of subclinical target-organ damage. Conclusions: Although common in clinical practice, high-risk patients are often undiagnosed. Intensive hypertensive therapy is recommended for high-risk patients, and this treatment strategy will require combination therapy to control or reverse subclinical organ damage and prevent the progression of cardiovascular risk in subjects at low risk or medium risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas