Coronary heart disease is one of the major causes of death of both women and men throughout the world. If we are aware of the risk factors that make us vulnerable to coronary heart diseases, with a little effort we could try to prevent them. Through extensive clinical studies, researchers have identified several risk factors responsible for causing heart diseases. Some of these risk factors, particularly the ones related to our lifestyle, could be modified.
Coronary heart disease risk factors
High blood cholesterol and triglyceride
High blood cholesterol level is one of the major risk factors that lead to coronary heart disease. It is desirable to keep the total blood cholesterol level below 200mg/dL. People with total blood cholesterol level above 239mg/dL have a high risk of developing coronary heart disease. Besides the total cholesterol level, you should also monitor the ratios of the HDL and LDL cholesterol of the blood. High-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol is known as the good cholesterol. HDL helps to eliminate the harmful bad cholesterol from the blood vessels, thereby preventing formation of plagues and narrowing of coronary arteries, leading to coronary artery disease. Low HDL level in men and women, below 40mg/dL and 50mg/dL respectively, increases the risk of coronary heart disease. High level of low-density lipoprotein or LDL increases the risk of coronary heart disease. People with LDL cholesterol level below 100mg/dL have lesser risk of developing coronary heart disease. Besides high cholesterol level, excess triglyceride in your bloodstream increases the risk of coronary heart disease. To lower the risk of coronary heart disease, your triglyceride level should remain below 150mg/dL.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure level forces the heart to work harder, increasing the risk of developing coronary heart disease. People whose blood pressure remains above 140/90mm Hg for a long time have a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Compared to non-smokers, smokers have 2 to 4 times greater risk of developing coronary heart disease. Even secondhand smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease in non-smokers.
Excess body weight increases the risk of coronary heart disease. People with excess abdominal fat are especially susceptible to coronary heart diseases.
Nearly 75 per cent of diabetes patients develop coronary heart disease. Managing your blood sugar level is imperative for preventing heart diseases.
Stress, heavy drinking, ethnicity and family history of heart diseases might increase the risk of coronary heart disease.