Coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease is one of the leading causes of death around the world. This life-threatening condition results from plaque buildup in your arteries, preventing the blood from flowing to your heart. Without adequate blood supply, your heart may suffer from oxygen starvation. You may be at risk of this disease if you have one (or more) of the following risk factors:
Unhealthy levels of cholesterol in the blood
This means you have too much LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and too little HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol).
High blood pressure
You have high blood pressure if your blood pressure stays at or above 140/90 mmHg for a prolonged period of time. For people with diabetes or chronic kidney disease, a reading of 130/80 mmHg or higher is considered the sign of high blood pressure.
Smoking has a bad impact on your blood vessels. It may also lead to unhealthy cholesterol levels, and elevate your blood pressure. Smoking has been known to restrict the oxygen supplies to tissues.
You are insulin resistant if your body can’t properly process your insulin, which the hormone responsible for the regulation of blood sugar for energy production.
People with diabetes have a significantly high level of blood sugar because their body can’t produce sufficient insulin or can’t use insulin properly.
Overweight or obesity
You are overweight or obese if your weight is greater than the measurement considered healthy for your height.
A sedentary lifestyle is associated with increased risks of coronary heart disease and other related conditions.
Getting older increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease. In men, this increase starts at the age of 45. In women, the risk goes up at the age of 55.
A person has a greater chance of developing coronary heart disease if he or she has a close relative diagnosed with this condition, especially at a young age.
Other possible risk factors
- High levels of the C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood
- Damage to the inner walls of the arteries
- High levels of triglycerides in the blood
- Sleep apnea, a condition marked by the obstruction of breathing during sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea may increase your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and even a heart attack or stroke.
- Stress, the most common trigger for a heart attack
- Alcohol, which contributes to the damage of heart muscle
- Preeclampsia, a condition occurs during pregnancy
Having risk factors doesn’t mean you will develop coronary heart disease. Many of these risk factors can be managed with a healthy lifestyle, which will help you prevent, delay, or keep coronary heart disease under control.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: June 29, 2017 | Last Modified: June 29, 2017
Who Is at Risk for Coronary Heart Disease? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cad/atrisk. Accessed June 29, 2017.
Coronary Artery Disease. http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-coronary-artery-disease#1. Accessed June 29, 2017.
Coronary artery disease. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronary-artery-disease/symptoms-causes/dxc-20165314. Accessed June 29, 2017.