The development of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is influenced by a variety of risk factors, some of which can be modified through lifestyle changes, while others are inherent and cannot be altered. Here are the main risk factors for CAD:

  1. Age: The risk of developing CAD increases with age, particularly after age 65 for men and after menopause for women.
  2. Sex: Men are generally at greater risk of coronary artery disease at a younger age than women. However, the risk for women increases and can surpass that of men after menopause.
  3. Family History: A family history of heart disease, especially CAD at an early age, increases the risk of developing the condition.
  4. Smoking: Tobacco use drastically increases the risk of CAD. Chemicals in smoke can damage blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis.
  5. High Blood Pressure: Hypertension can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries, narrowing the vessels through which blood flows.
  6. High Blood Cholesterol Levels: High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the formation of plaques and atherosclerosis.
  7. Diabetes: Diabetes significantly increases the risk of developing CAD. High blood sugar from diabetes can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart.
  8. Obesity: Excess body fat, particularly around the waist, increases the likelihood of developing heart disease.
  9. Physical Inactivity: Lack of exercise is associated with many forms of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
  10. Unhealthy Diet: A diet that is high in fat, salt, sugar, and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.
  11. Stress: Unrelieved stress may damage your arteries and worsen other risk factors for CAD.
  12. Alcohol: Heavy alcohol use can lead to increased blood pressure, heart failure, and even lead to a stroke. However, moderate alcohol use can potentially have some protective effects against CAD.

Managing these risk factors, particularly through lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco, can significantly reduce the risk of developing CAD. Regular medical check-ups are also important for early detection and management of these risk factors.

Last Update: May 28, 2024