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Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

Mark, a single father of a 2-year-old son, Jacob, stops every morning at a local fast food restaurant to pick up breakfast for himself and his son on their way to daycare. Mark says, “I don’t have time to cook in the mornings, and I can’t feed Jacob anything I make at home any cheaper than this. Besides, he really loves these sausage and egg sandwiches, and at least I can get him to eat them!”

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Mark has a family history of diabetes, as well as hyperlipidemia, and has the following risk factors for cardiovascular disease: primary hypertension (treated with medication), cigarette smoking, inactive lifestyle, and occasionally eating foods high in sodium. Both of his parents died at young ages due to what Mark calls “heart troubles,” and his brother has high cholesterol. During his physical, Mark learns that his lipid panel is as follows: total cholesterol 245 mg/dl, LDL 180 mg/dl, and HDL 35 mg/dl.

As his nurse, you know that risk factors for cardiovascular disease are fixed or modifiable. Give at least two examples of each.

For modifiable risk factors, what can be done to reduce risk?
What is the significance of Mark’s blood work? What does a normal lipid profile look like?
Based on the information provided in the scenario, how would you educate him?

Be sure to include physical fitness and nutrition based on the USDA 2015 Dietary Guidelines andchoosemyplate.gov

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