Ask the doctor: Why aren't prevention efforts stopping an increase in heart disease?

Q. Why is heart disease still on the rise despite the incredible increase in the number of people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs and the more than 30 years of "low-fat" propaganda?

A. The situation you describe — the ever-growing number of people with heart disease despite major advances in cardiovascular medicine and a growing emphasis on prevention — sounds like a paradox. But it can be explained by several trends. These include the aging of the population and the linked epidemics of obesity and diabetes.

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