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Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
- Physical inactivity—Contributes to an increase in weight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other heart-related risk factors.
- Smoking—Includes cigarettes, cigars, and second hand smoke. Smoking narrows blood vessels and irritates the blood vessel walls, both factors that contribute to atherosclerosis.
- A diet high in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and/or calories. Increased fats in the diet are directly associated arterial plaque build-up.
- Excess alcohol intake—Contributes to high triglycerides in the blood, increasing your risk of arterial plaque build-up.
- High blood pressure—Can lead to turbulent blood flow that can damage blood vessel walls.
- Lipid disorders—High cholesterol and/or triglycerides in the blood contribute to plaque build up in the arteries.
- Diabetes/Glucose intolerance—High levels of glucose in the blood contribute to the risk of atherosclerosis and blood vessel damage.
- Obesity and overweight—Excess weight puts you at higher risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
- Metabolic syndrome—A condition marked by elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and body weight. Excess weight centered around the midsection is of particular concern.
- Chronic stress—Contributes to high blood pressure, depression, and may contribute to making poor decisions that affect your health, such as smoking.
- Depression—It is not known how depression and CAD are linked, but depression does affect overall mental and physical well being. Fatigue or disinterest can lead you to make poor decisions about your health, such as ignoring treatment plans that reduce your risk of CAD.
Certain Blood Test Results
Race and Ethnic Factors
Coronary artery disease—coronary heart disease. American Heart Association website. Available at: hhttp://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/Coronary-Artery-Disease---Coronary-Heart-Disease%5FUCM%5F436416%5FArticle.jsp. Updated August 30, 2013. Accessed January 27, 2014.
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.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 00/12/2014