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

Published: June, 2009

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.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »