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What Are the Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 02, 2014
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • Cardiovascular disease means disorders of the blood vessels and heart.
  • You are at the risk of four types of cardiovascular diseases.
  • High blood pressure is biggest factor that leads to this disease.
  • Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol should be stopped.


Cardiovascular disease is not the same as a heart disease. A heart disease refers to just the heart while a cardiovascular disease means disorders of the blood vessels and heart. Try to understand what the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases are so that you can avoid one.

Cardiovascular disease or heart and blood vessel disease includes many problems; many of these problems are related to a process called atherosclerosis. This atherosclerosis is basically a condition that develops when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. Then this buildup of plaque narrows the arteries and makes it harder for blood to flow through. When you have a blood clot it stops the flow of blood and this then causes a heart attack or a stroke. You are at the risk of four types of cardiovascular diseases, and they are coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease and aortic disease. All these diseases can prove to be potentially fatal. A rather complicated disease, cardiovascular disease can be tackled if you know what its risk factors are.

cardiovascular disease

The Risk Factors For Cardiovascular Disease

We can broadly enumerate nine main risk factors for developing a cardiovascular disease. Many of these are linked, and that means that if you have one of these risk factors then you have chances of developing another.

High Blood Pressure

This is the biggest factor that leads to a cardiovascular disease and plays a major role in strokes and heart attacks. You can prevent it by getting diagnosed and sticking to a plan that would decrease your blood pressure. When you have poorly controlled high blood pressure then you can damage your artery walls and also increase the risk of developing a blood clot.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use in the form of smoking or even chewing increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The risk of developing cardiovascular disease especially increases when you start smoking at a young age and continue it for a long time, if you smoke heavily or if you are a woman. Even second hand smoking is a great risk factor for the disease. You need to stop smoking in order to reduce your chances of getting cardiovascular disease.

High Blood Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fat which is also called lipid and your body needs this for proper functioning. But if you increase the level of bad cholesterol or LDL, then this could lead to a cardiovascular disease. You have to increase your levels of good cholesterol or HDL cholesterol and reduce the level of your bad cholesterol or LDL.

cardiovascular risks

Physical Inactivity

Now here is a link between things. If you are inactive physically then you increase your chances of increasing blood cholesterol thus increasing your risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. Additionally you are increasing your body weight and increasing your blood pressure and stress levels.


When you have diabetes you have high blood glucose or sugar levels which are associated with either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. This can damage your arteries. People who are suffering from type 2 diabetes are also overweight and obese and therefore automatically increasing the chances of other risk factors which then put them in the risk of a cardiovascular disease.

Poor Diet

A poor diet is often the reason for most physical problems and so it is true for cardiovascular diseases too. When you have high fat in your diet then you speed up the formation of fatty deposits inside your arteries and this leads to both high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure, thus an inevitable increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Being overweight

Being overweight is related here with lack of physical activity and poor diet. When you are overweight you have risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. Those who are overweight also have been found to have poor diet and they do not exercise regularly.

heart disease


You tend to get stressed when you are going through mental pressure or even when you are physically inactive. Stress can increase blood pressure and the hormones that are associated with it increase your blood glucose levels. Stress can be reduced with the help of exercises and good sleep.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Most people tend to get involved in binge drinking and no one really drinks in limited amount. When you drink excessively you increase your cholesterol levels and also blood pressure. This way you are increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The best way to overcome the risk cardiovascular disease is by going against all of the above and choosing to lead a more healthy life. Lifestyle changes can bring on a lot of changes in your body both of terms of mental and physical fitness.

Read more on Heart Health.

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