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Risk Factors and Prevention

Certain traits, conditions or habits may increase the risk of developing CAD. Controlling and monitoring most risk factors can help prevent or delay CAD.

However there are certain risk factors like genetics and family history which are difficult to be controlled.

Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels
  • High levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
  • Low levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
  • High levels of triglycerides.
High blood pressure
  • Considered high if it remains at or above 140/90 mmHg over a period of time.
Smoking
  • Damages and tightens blood vessels, raises cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  • Smoking also prevents sufficient oxygen to reach the body's tissues.
Insulin resistance
  • Occurs when the body cannot use its own insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells where it's converted to energy.
Diabetes
  • A condition where there are high levels of sugar in the blood as the body does not produce sufficient insulin or utilize the insulin properly.
Obesity
  • Having extra body weight from muscle, bone, water and or high amounts of extra body fat.
Metabolic rate
  • Closely linked to being overweight or suffering from obesity, hence increases the chances for heart disease and other health complications such as diabetes and stroke.
Lack of physical activity
  • Lack of activity can encourage other risk factors for CAD.
Age
  • Risk for CAD increases for men after age 45, whilst for women is after the age of 55.
Family history of early heart disease
  • Risk for CAD increases if a father or a brother was diagnosed with CAD before 55 years of age, or a mother or a sister before 65 years of age.
Sleep apnea
  • A disorder in which breathing stops or becomes very shallow while sleeping. Untreated sleep apnea can increase the chances of having high blood pressure, diabetes, and even a heart attack or stroke.
Stress
  • Research indicates that an emotionally-upsetting event - particularly one involving anger - is the most commonly reported "trigger" for a heart attack.
Alcohol
  • Excessive drinking can damage the heart and lead to other risk factors for heart disease. Ideally, men should have a maximum of two drinks containing alcohol a day and women, one.