It was once thought that the development and progression of atherosclerosis was a
“normal” or unavoidable part of aging. But, we now know that its occurrence and
progression with age can mostly be avoided by putting in place the Building Blocks
of Health.

Multiple health factors increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research begun
in the 1940s by Ancel Keys demonstrated a link between cardiovascular disease,
diet, and lifestyle. He documented that elevated blood pressure, elevated blood
cholesterol levels, and cigarette smoking increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Subsequent studies showed that a low LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), not being overweight
or obese, and physical activity helps prevent CVDs.

The Framingham Heart Study, begun in 1948 with 5,209 adult subjects, confirmed
that high blood pressure, elevated serum cholesterol, and cigarette smoking were
major contributors to the development of heart disease. Patients with total cholesterol
levels of less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) had the lowest coronary
artery disease risk. In the first 50 years of the Framingham study, only five subjects
with total cholesterol levels of less than 150 mg/dl developed coronary artery disease. The study also suggested that up to 90% of coronary heart disease deaths could be prevented if total cholesterol remained below 182 mg/dl, systolic blood
pressure was under 120 mmHg, and no smoking or diabetes was present.

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel