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Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease - Topic Overview

Some risk factors—things that increase your risk—for coronary artery disease (CAD), such as your gender, age, and family history, cannot be changed. Other risk factors for CAD are related to lifestyle and often can be changed. Your chance of developing coronary artery disease increases with the number of risk factors you have.

You can help lower your risk of CAD with heart-healthy lifestyle changes such as eating healthy foods, being active, and not smoking.

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Can You Reverse Heart Disease?

Making some simple changes in what you eat, how often you exercise, how much you weigh, and how you manage stress can help to put the brakes on heart disease. But can you actually reverse heart disease, not just slow it down? You can undo some, but probably not all, of the damage, if you're willing to make big, lasting changes to your lifestyle.

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Risk factors you can control

Risk factors you cannot control

  • Family history: One or more of your close relatives have or had early CAD.
  • Gender: Men generally develop CAD 10 years earlier than women, although by age 60, CAD becomes the leading cause of death in both genders.
  • Age: People older than age 65 are more likely to have CAD.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 06, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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