This review compares the primary prevention recommendations of the recent 2021 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and 2019 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines on cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention. Although the 2019 ACC/AHA guideline represents its inaugural version, the ESC guideline is an update to its 2016 statement. Both guidelines address prevention using a holistic approach and agree on the importance of lifestyle optimization and intensified risk factor management. Cardiovascular (CV) risk assessment tools differ, reflecting the unique populations being screened as well as philosophical differences to their approach. Conventional risk factors are used to estimate CV risk, but each guideline acknowledges the role of risk modifiers to refine risk calculation. The ESC guideline recognizes the importance of nonclassical risk factors, including environmental issues, that impact CV health at the population level and calls for legislative action at the local, regional, and national levels.
Keywords: guidelines; primary prevention; recommendations; secondary prevention.
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