Global effect of modifiable risk factors on cardiovascular disease and mortality

Christina Magnussen, Francisco M Ojeda, Darryl P Leong, Jesus Alegre-Diaz, Philippe Amouyel, Larissa Aviles-Santa, Dirk De Bacquer, Christie M Ballantyne, Antonio Bernabé-Ortiz, Martin Bobak, Hermann Brenner, Rodrigo M Carrillo-Larco, James de Lemos, Annette Dobson, Marcus Dörr, Chiara Donfrancesco, Wojciech Drygas, Robin P Dullaart, Gunnar Engström, Marco M FerrarioJean Ferrières, Giovanni de Gaetano, Uri Goldbourt, Clicerio Gonzalez, Guido Grassi, Allison M Hodge, Kristian Hveem, Licia Iacoviello, M Kamran Ikram, Vilma Irazola, Modou Jobe, Pekka Jousilahti, Pontiano Kaleebu, Maryam Kavousi, Frank Kee, Davood Khalili, Wolfgang Koenig, Anna Kontsevaya, Kari Kuulasmaa, Karl J Lackner, David M Leistner, Lars Lind, Allan Linneberg, Thiess Lorenz, Magnus Nakrem Lyngbakken, Reza Malekzadeh, Sofia Malyutina, Ellisiv B Mathiesen, Olle Melander, Andres Metspalu, Global Cardiovascular Risk Consortium

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Five modifiable risk factors are associated with cardiovascular disease and death from any cause. Studies using individual-level data to evaluate the regional and sex-specific prevalence of the risk factors and their effect on these outcomes are lacking.

We pooled and harmonized individual-level data from 112 cohort studies conducted in 34 countries and 8 geographic regions participating in the Global Cardiovascular Risk Consortium. We examined associations between the risk factors (body-mass index, systolic blood pressure, non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, current smoking, and diabetes) and incident cardiovascular disease and death from any cause using Cox regression analyses, stratified according to geographic region, age, and sex. Population-attributable fractions were estimated for the 10-year incidence of cardiovascular disease and 10-year all-cause mortality.

Among 1,518,028 participants (54.1% of whom were women) with a median age of 54.4 years, regional variations in the prevalence of the five modifiable risk factors were noted. Incident cardiovascular disease occurred in 80,596 participants during a median follow-up of 7.3 years (maximum, 47.3), and 177,369 participants died during a median follow-up of 8.7 years (maximum, 47.6). For all five risk factors combined, the aggregate global population-attributable fraction of the 10-year incidence of cardiovascular disease was 57.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 52.4 to 62.1) among women and 52.6% (95% CI, 49.0 to 56.1) among men, and the corresponding values for 10-year all-cause mortality were 22.2% (95% CI, 16.8 to 27.5) and 19.1% (95% CI, 14.6 to 23.6).

Harmonized individual-level data from a global cohort showed that 57.2% and 52.6% of cases of incident cardiovascular disease among women and men, respectively, and 22.2% and 19.1% of deaths from any cause among women and men, respectively, may be attributable to five modifiable risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273-1285
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number14
Early online date26 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 05 Oct 2023


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