Atherosclerosis is a disease of chronic inflammation. It is diffuse, multisystemic and affects the vascular, metabolic and immune systems.
The traditional evaluation of risk is based on methods of clinical and biological assessments, and conventional imaging. The existence of symptomatic disease and the number of symptomatic sites of atherothrombosis are critical factors in predicting the recurrence of major vascular events. However, these methods are insufficient to predict near-future episodes, above all in the individual standard clinical practice.
Active treatment of modifiable risk factors such as hypertension, dyslipidemia and atrial fibrillation can reduce the number of patients who develop a stroke. There is considerable evidence suggesting that a substantial proportion of the population with high blood pressure receives insufficient treatment. More active treatment of this condition is probably the most efficient single measure. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, physical inactivity and obesity contribute to the relatively high incidence of stroke.
There is a need to incorporate new systemic markers and new investigation techniques in the future so as to identify the individuals at risk in the population and to administer more individualized intervention therapies.
CITATION Cerebrovasc Dis. 2007;24 Suppl 1:49-63
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