Global effect of modifiable risk factors on cardiovascular disease and mortality

Posted December 12, 2023

A study conducted by the team of Centro INCT Hormona of Universidade de Passo Fundo (UPF), in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, was included in an important survey on cardiovascular risk factors and mortality published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The article “Global Effect of Modifiable Risk Factors on Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality The Global Cardiovascular Risk Consortium” pooled 112 studies and was coauthored by the general coordinator of INCT Hormona, Dr. Poli Mara Spritzer, and by the coordinator of Centro INCT of UPF, Dr. Karen Oppermann.

According to Dr. Opperman, the article was based on information collected from studies conducted in 34 countries and 8 geographic regions, and aimed to examine the following associations between modifiable risk factors: body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL cholesterol), current smoking, and diabetes with incident cardiovascular diseases and death from any cause. Overall, the study assessed 1,518,028 participants, including a cohort of women from Passo Fundo, Brazil.

The researcher comments that the 5 modifiable risk factors accounted for 57.2% of cases of cardiovascular disease in women and 52.6% in men; as well as for 22.2% and 19.1% of deaths from any cause in women and men, respectively. Among the risk factors, elevated systolic blood pressure seems to be the largest contributor for cardiovascular disease in all regions.

The article also considered that measures to control systolic blood pressure may offer the greatest potential for cardiovascular disease prevention. The full text is available at: