Over the past century as the West transitioned from an agrarian to an industrial economy, the nature of the dominant diseases afflicting humans changed from communicable to chronic conditions. During this epidemiologic transition, cardiovascular disease has ascended from an uncommon problem to its current position as the number one cause of death and disability worldwide.1,2 This transformation of human disease is continuing as regional economies develop and the global population ages. In many high-income countries the onset of some cardiovascular events is being delayed from middle to older age and more people are living longer with various forms of cardiovascular disease. In middle- and lower-income countries the ascendancy of cardiovascular disease has been more rapid than in the West. Although some progress has been made in parts of the world in reversing trends in certain cardiovascular risk factors, major risk factors such as obesity are still on the rise globally.
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