How to prevent cardiovascular disease?
The primary prevention is those which focus on preventing the disease before it occurs or before it is diagnosed in a population group. Some of the main components of a primary prevention program include health education, environmental modification, and lifestyle and behavioral modification to minimize the risk of developing heart diseases.
In the UK, one of the major preventive health strategies for the management of cardiovascular disease was to reduce the prevalence of smoking. At the national level, the UK Government implemented several programs to prevent cardiovascular disease. These included setting national priorities for reducing premature mortality, controlling obesity and tobacco use, decreasing alcohol consumption and encouraging physical activities in citizens. The social marketing campaign, Change4Life and Responsibility Deal framework were implemented to implement policies and support industries to produce healthier produce and minimize unhealthy dietary habits. This campaign greatly increased awareness about the health risk associated with obesity; however behavioral changes were not achieved to that extent. This was mainly because of socioeconomic differences in people.
The main strength of the primary prevention programs for cardiovascular disease in the UK was the use of social marketing tool to reach to a large group of people. However, since attitudinal changes were not achieved, there was a need for narrow focus to maximize the effectiveness of prevention efforts. In the case of secondary or tertiary prevention for cardiovascular disease, adequate screening and records regarding case findings are essential for early diagnosis. The main principle of secondary prevention is to control the disease process by identify the undiagnosed group and treating them before serious complication arises. On the national level, the UK government has developed an action plan for cardiovascular disease prevention. The implementation of the NHS Health Check national programme is one of the largest prevention programmes where the focus is to prevent and detect early signs of heart disease. This programme has been effective in identifying undiagnosed people with CVD and those with CVD risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension.