Heart Disease Risk Factors
Heart disease has many aspects, including:
- Types of heart problems
- Heart disease risk factors
- Heart disease prevention
- Heart disease symptoms
- Heart disease treatments
A high, or at least an increased, risk of heart disease is associated with many aspects of 'modern' lifestyles ('lifestyle factors') and with some medical conditions.
Heart disease risk factors can be listed in categories such as:
- Lifestyle factors
i.e. things that are due to choices made by the individual such as smoking, diet and exercise)
- Medical conditions
... some of which might also be associated with 'lifestyle risk factors', e.g. diabetes and high blood pressure
- Unavoidable risk factors
i.e. heart disease risk factors you cannot control, such as age, gender etc.
The following are listed in no particular order within categories; different risk factors affect different people in different ways.
- *High blood cholesterol level and high levels of triglyceride in the blood
- a lifestyle factor if due to diet rather than to the effects of a medical condition or treatment
- Cigarette smoking
- a lifestyle factor if due to diet & exercise choices rather than due to the effects of a medical condition such as hypothyroidism, or due to the effects of essential prescribed medication. See causes of obesity.
- *Excessive stress and anger, i.e. failure to respond to 'everyday' challenges without adverse physical manifestations - which may or may not be apparent to other people. As stress is sometimes treated medically it might also be considered a 'medical condition'.
- Insufficient regular exercise (exercise regimes such be safe and appropriate for the person's physical condition)
- *High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- could also be listed as a 'lifestyle factor' because certain lifestyle choices are risk factors for hypertension.
- *Diabetes and prediabetes
- could also be listed as a 'lifestyle factor' because some lifestyle choices are risk factors for diabetes.
However, not all forms or cases of diabetes can be attributed to lifestyle choices.
Unavoidable Risk Factors
(in addition to those associated with unavoidable medical conditions)
Risk of heart diseases increases with age - until about age 45-50 in men and age 60-65 in women.
Men are at greater risk of heart disease than pre-menopausal women.
E.g. data from the USA suggests that that African Americans, American Indians, and Mexican Americans have a higher risk of heart disease than Caucasian Americans.
- Family history of heart disease
* These risk factors could be included in different categories depending on the cause of condition in any particular case.
A list of risk factors for heart disease can lead to suggestions for "reducing the risk of heart disease" or "managing the risk of heart disease", neither of which amount to "preventing heart disease".
Example Question: Re. Risk of Heart Disease:
- State five factors that a person might have some ability to influence and that increase the risk of heart disease.
- For each risk factor suggest how to reduced one's risk of heart disease
(or maintain a low risk regarding that particular risk factor).
The text in bold is sufficient for complete short answers to this question.
The additional text and links are explanatory and maybe useful for discussion.