Several factors influence your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, or developing another form of cardiovascular disease. Some of these you can’t change; some you can.
Non-modifiable risk factors – risk factors you can’t change – include:
- ethnic origin;
- there’s also strong evidence that your early development in the womb and during childhood helps set the stage for heart health or heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease risk factors that can be modified include habits and
choices such as:
- tobacco use;
- physical activity;
- what you eat and drink.
All of the above affect physiologic factors like:
- blood pressure;
- cholesterol level;
- blood sugar;
- other potentially modifiable risk factors include air pollution, noise, stress, and infection, though these are not as easy to control directly.
Having a risk factor doesn’t automatically mean you will develop cardiovascular disease. But the more of them you have, the higher the odds—unless you take action.