Published online Sep 16, 2017. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v5.i9.349
Peer-review started: February 6, 2017
First decision: May 11, 2017
Revised: May 22, 2017
Accepted: June 12, 2017
Article in press: June 13, 2017
Published online: September 16, 2017
Over the past two decades, the percentage of Chinese who is 60 years or older has increased from 5.2% in 1995 to 10.5% in 2015. Approximately 16% of the population in China was 60 years old and above in 2015. Since 1990, cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been the leading cause of death in China. Cardiovascular medications of older adults are usually more complicated than younger age groups due to polypharmacy, the presence of comorbidities and more susceptible to treatment-related adverse outcomes. Therefore, effective primary prevention of CVD for older adults is important in sustaining the health of older adults and reducing the burden of the healthcare system. Proper management of CVD-related risk factors, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes and obesity, can remarkably reduce risks of CVDs in older Chinese. These risk factors can be modified by managing blood pressure, glucose and lipids via lifestyle modifications or receiving medications. Smoking cessation, healthy diets, strict alcohol intake and moderate physical exercise are examples of recommended lifestyle changes for remarkably recovering health conditions of older adults who have hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, diabetes or complications. Treatment prescriptions of older adults, in general, are recommended to be individualized and to be initiated at a low dose. The future directions for better primary CVD prevention in older adults include establishing guidelines for primary prevention of CVD for different older adults and further research on better management strategies of CVD risks for elderly Chinese.
Core tip: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in China. More than half of the Chinese ≥ 60 years old have been exposed to at least one risk factor for CVD. This review aims to highlight the primary CVD prevention in Chinese who are 60 years old and above. The management of common risk factors and future directions of primary CVD prevention for elderly population are described in this review.