CRDAMC Homepage | CRDAMC Library Phone #: (254) 288-8366 | CRDAMC Library Fax #: (254) 288-8368

Search Health Library

Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop CAD with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing CAD. Some risk factors can't be changed, but many can. Talk to your doctor about how you can reduce the number of risk factors you have.

Lifestyle Factors

Certain lifestyle factors may increase your risk of atherosclerosis, which can lead to CAD. These include:

  • 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.

Health Conditions    TOP

Having certain health conditions put you are at greater risk of developing CAD. These may include:

  • 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.
  • Psychological disorders, such as depression or anxiety —It is not known how depression, anxiety, and CAD are linked, but psychological problems do affect overall mental and physical well being. Fatigue, stress, or disinterest can lead you to make poor decisions about your health, such as ignoring treatment plans that reduce your risk of CAD.

Genetic Factors    TOP

Genetics are believed to play a role in risk factors that lead to CAD. A family history of CAD or heart disease can increase your risk of CAD. The risk increases when combined with other unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Sex    TOP

Men tend to develop atherosclerosis earlier than women. However, a woman’s risk increases to that of men with the onset of menopause.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women.

Certain Blood Test Results    TOP

Recent research has found that higher levels of homocysteine and C-reactive proteins in the blood may increase the risk of developing CAD. However, it is not clear the exact relationship and what levels are desirable.

Talk to your doctor to see if these blood tests will benefit you. They may be done if you are considered to be a high-risk candidate for CAD.

Advancing Age    TOP

Your risk of CAD increases as you get older. Men older than 45 and women older than 55 (younger in cases of premature menopause) are at greater risk of heart disease.

Race and Ethnic Factors    TOP

African Americans have a higher incidence of hypertension than Caucasians and, therefore, a higher risk of developing CAD. Heart disease risk is also higher among Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans.

PreviousNext

References:

Coronary artery disease—coronary heart disease. American Heart Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated August 7, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2016.
Coronary artery disease (CAD). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated September 23, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016.
Coronary artery disease major risk factors. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated April 29, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016.
Coronary artery disease possible risk factors. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated July 28, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016.
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:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated October 23, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2016.
7/6/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.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 Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.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.
1/18/2017 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed...: Emdin CA, Odutayo A, Wong CX, Tran J, Hsiao AJ, Hunn BH. Meta-analysis of anxiety as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Am J Cardiol. 2016;118(4):511-519.
Last reviewed March 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 1/18/2017

 

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.

Health Library: Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Support
36000 Darnall Loop Fort Hood, Texas 76544-4752 | Phone: (254) 288-8000