2005, Number 4
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ABSTRACTThis paper describes several concepts about causality from Empedocles, Aristoteles and Galeno, to Koch and Hill and the evolution of these concepts related to cardiovascular diseases. Also defines cause and risk, and the philosophical theories about scientific knowledge: inductive versus refutation analysis. On these basis, the study of cardiovascular disease’s causality, especially coronary heart disease, allows us the identification of several risk factors involved in its development. However, even with the presently coronary heart disease risk charts (from Framingham and European studies) the higher probability for the development of a cardiovascular ischemic event is around 40 %, establishing an important degree of uncertainty. With the improvement in molecular biology techniques, genetics have attempted to analyse several genetic polymorphisms in search of the origin of coronary heart disease. Unfortunately, less than 10 % of these polymorphisms have had a positive correlation with coronary heart disease being of minor risk that those obtained for having the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus or hypercholesterolemia. On these basis, the requirement of new population research projects in which clinical and genetic risk factors are to be studied for the appropriate understanding of the causality process of cardiovascular diseases must be a worldwide priority.
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