During a health education session about risk factors for heart disease, the nurse is discussing the updated 2013 guidelines from the American College of Cardiology/America Heart Association (ACC/AHA), which include conventional risk factors, modifiable risk factors, and non-traditional risk factors. The nurse educator identifies which of the following as non-traditional cardiovascular risk factors?

C-reactive Protein (CRP)
Elevated homocysteine level

Explanation

• Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk factors are based on the original 1998 Framingham Model. The updated 2013 guidelines from the ACC/AHA, include conventional risk factors, modifiable risk factors, and non-traditional risk factors.

Included in the non-traditional risk factors are:

• C-reactive Protein (CRP) is an independent risk factor for CVD. Research has focused on the use of C-reactive protein as an inflammatory marker for CVD.

• Homocysteine is an amino acid that has been shown to be increased in many people with atherosclerosis. Clients with elevated levels of homocysteine may have increased risk of CVD. This is considered a non-traditional risk factor.

The following contribute to CVD but are classified in other categories: sedentary lifestyle, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes are classified as modifiable risk factors of CVD in this model.

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