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Cardiovascular disease – Primary prevention

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Cardiovascular disease – Primary prevention

The findings from the Framingham1 study in 1961 identified the common risk factors for cardiovascular (CVD) disease, and over the last 50 years there has been a decline in CVD mortality. However, this is not as evident in low-income areas and the increases in obesity and diabetes threaten this improvement, particularly in younger people. Prevention of CVD should be a major part of our practice. The new Joint British Societies’ consensus recommendations for the prevention of CVD (JBS3)2 emphasise the lifetime risk of CVD events, and provide a greater opportunity to address risk in people who may have a low ten year risk but higher life time risk, and who may have been missed due to age and gender.

Aims and objectives

On completion of this resource you should have an understanding of:

  • CVD risk assessment and the tools available
  • When statins would be used in primary prevention of CVD
  • Recommended exercise levels for primary prevention of CVD
  • Dietary recommendations for prevention of CVD
  • Appropriate treatments for smoking cessation

This module, offered at a basic level, explores primary prevention of cardiovascular disease based on current guidelines. Complete the module, including the recommended reading and some or all of the suggested activities, to obtain a certificate of one hour’s CPD to add to your portfolio.


1. Framingham Heart study, 1961.

2. Joint British Societies’ guidelines on prevention of cardiovascular disease in clinical practice (JBS3), 2014.

Reading list

NICE PH 25. Prevention of cardiovascular disease. 2010,

NHS Health Checks, 2013

NICE CG 181 Lipid modification: cardiovascular risk assessment and the modification of blood lipids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, July 2014

Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy: Improving Outcomes for people with or at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Department of Health, 2012. Available: