The prevention and control of cardiovascular disease (CVD), principally ischemic heart disease and stroke, are a major clinical and public health challenge. Worldwide, CVD accounts for substantial morbidity and mortality. The major modifiable CVD risk factors are known and all of them cause endothelial activation and dysfunction. Preventing and controlling the established risk factors are associated with preserved endothelial function and reduced risk of CVD. Research advances that improve our understanding of strategies to preserve endothelial function or make the endothelial cells resilient to environmental insults may help improve our preventive interventions. This summary statement addresses the current state of the science with respect to endothelial dysfunction and CVD pathogenesis, diagnostic evaluation, and suggested strategies for public health practice and research.
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