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.
Risk factors you can control
- High blood pressure (140/90 mm Hg or higher)
- High cholesterol
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercise
- Metabolic syndrome
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. Women have certain other things that may increase their risk. These include hormone therapy and pregnancy-related problems.
- Age: People older than age 65 are more likely to have CAD.