A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop CAD with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing CAD. Some risk factors can't be changed, but many can. Talk to your doctor about how you can reduce the number of risk factors you have.
Certain lifestyle factors may increase your risk of atherosclerosis , which can lead to CAD. These include:
Having certain health conditions put you are at greater risk of developing CAD. These may include:
Genetics are believed to play a role in risk factors that lead to CAD. A family history of CAD or heart disease can increase your risk of CAD. The risk increases when combined with other unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Men tend to develop atherosclerosis earlier than women. However, a woman’s risk increases to that of men with the onset of menopause .
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women.
Recent research has found that higher levels of homocysteine and C-reactive proteins in the blood may increase the risk of developing CAD. However, it is not clear the exact relationship and what levels are desirable.
Talk to your doctor to see if these blood tests will benefit you. They may be done if you are considered to be a high-risk candidate for CAD.
Your risk of CAD increases as you get older. Men older than 45 and women older than 55 (younger in cases of premature menopause) are at greater risk of heart disease.
African Americans have a higher incidence of hypertension than Caucasians and, therefore, a higher risk of developing CAD. Heart disease risk is also higher among Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans.
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Coronary artery disease major risk factors. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 18, 2013. Accessed January 27, 2014.
Coronary artery disease possible risk factors. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 18, 2014. Accessed January 27, 2014.
CRP screening doesn’t improve conventional heart risk assessment. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://newsroom.heart.org/news/1200. Published November 27, 2010. Accessed January 27, 2014.
Park CS, Ihm SH, et al. Relation between C-reactive protein, homocysteine levels, fibrinogen, and lipoprotein levels and leukocyte and platelet counts, and 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease among healthy adults in the USA. Am J Cardiol. 2010;105(9):1284-1288.
Ridker PM, Rifai N, et al. Comparison of C-reactive protein and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the prediction of first cardiovascular events. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:1557-1565.
Who is at risk for coronary heart disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cad/atrisk.html. Updated August 23, 2012. Accessed January 27, 2014.
7/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Fung TT, Malik V, Rexrode KM, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sweetened beverage consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:1037-1042.
7/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Kodama S, Saito K, Tanaka S, et al. Cardiorespiratory fitness as a quantitative predictor of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in healthy men and women: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 2009;301:2024-2035.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Michael J. Fucci, DO
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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