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Each of the risk factors taken in isolation is capable of increasing an individual’s likelihood of cardiovascular problems. When a person accumulates several factors, even if only slightly, his or her risk is greater.


It is not surprising that someone with two risk factors is more likely to have cardiovascular problems than someone with only one. But it is more surprising, but unfortunately true, that someone who is ‘a little’ overweight, has ‘a little’ high cholesterol and ‘a little’ high blood pressure has, in the majority of cases, a much greater cardiovascular risk than someone who has only one of these abnormalities in a more pronounced manner.

A situation that calls for a recovery


In Belgium, among those aged 15 and over, there are approximately :


  • 1,200,000 with blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg and probably as many who are in the same situation but don’t know it,
  • 250,000 who have type 2 diabetes and probably as many whose diabetes is not known,
  • 3,300,000 who are overweight or frankly obese,
  • 2,800,000 who smoke every day,
  • 4,000,000 to 5,400,000 who are not sufficiently physically active.

As a result of this not very comforting situation, despite the undeniable progress in medicine, cardiovascular diseases remain the number one scourge in Belgium, responsible for more than a third of deaths each year. And in 10% of cases, these deaths occur in people under 65. Clearly, the identification of risk factors and their systematic correction is an absolute necessity.


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