Major Heart Disease Risk Factors

Heart disease risk factors are factors that can contribute to or lead to having heart disease. Heart disease is one of the top killers in the United Stated and in the UK.

You will quickly find though, that these risk factors are controllable. In fact, you are in control to a large extent.

This is because heart disease risk factors all come about as a result of the lifestyle we have chosen to live nowadays. The chances of dying in a car accident are very low, but the chances of having a heart attack in the UK are now 1 in 4.

The statistics are alarming, so much so that heart disease is the number one killer in the UK and in the US.

Heart disease was almost unheard of a 100 years ago. It’s such a shame that now, it’s one of the most-worrying lifestyle diseases around.

There are also countries where heart disease is almost unheard of still. That shows that in westernized countries where the disease is common, they have come about as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. Some like Japan only started to have heart disease when they adopted the westernized diet.

Genes as a Factor?

What about genes being the cause of heart disease?

Forget about genes. Deposits clogging up someone’s arteries do not get sent or posted from parents, grandparents or ancestors. They are a direct result of the way the person in question has lived.

What is hereditary, more than anything else, is the lifestyle our parents or grandparents have lived, the sorts of foods they ate, how they cooked or prepared the foods.

Below are some of the major heart disease risk factors…

High blood pressure

High blood pressure is also known as hypertension . High blood pressure is mostly caused by too much salt in the diet. High blood pressure adds more strain onto the heart because the heart needs to pump harder to get blood around the cells. The heart works hard enough already as it is, even without with problems. Anything that might add any kind of extra strain is not wise move.

Being overweight

Being overweight is one of the major causes of high blood pressure. So you can see that some of these risk factors lead to others. It’s like a cycle. If you are overweight, it means there’s excess body fat in your body. This means that there are more blood vessels than normal in your body, because for every extra pound of fat, there are a whole lot of blood vessels contained. This then makes the heart work harder and adds more strain to the heart.


The by-products of smoking work together to cause the heart to beat faster and work harder. Smoking also causes less oxygen to be available to the heart, causing even more strain.

High cholesterol

The body can produce the cholesterol it needs itself without needing any extra. High cholesterol levels can cause cholesterol and fatty streaks to deposit around your coronary artery walls. More cholesterol encourages plaques to build up around the inside of your coronary arteries. It makes the passage where blood travels through thinner, causing more strain and pressure to build up.

Saturated fat excessive intake

Saturated fat excessive intake causes the body to produce more cholesterol and easily leads to excess cholesterol in the body. A lifestyle of eating foods that are high in saturated fat will contribute more to this.

A sedentary lifestyle

A lifestyle that leaves you little time or no time for physical activity and exercise will increase your chances of having a heart disease. Any kind of exercise that will work your heart is good for you.

Excessive stress

Excessive stress over a period of time is also a heart disease risk factor. Chronic stress is common nowadays because of our lifestyles, and pressures of work, and other day-to-day activities.

Heart disease risk factors that apply to you should be taken seriously. You need to act to reverse them now because tomorrow may be too late.

Simply controlling heart disease risk factors and avoiding them will help you increase your chances of avoiding a stroke or a heart attack. Strokes, heart failures and heart attacks are man-made diseases.

Usually, heart disease risk factors are the same as the risk factors for most of the other lifestyle diseases. You have to make some positive changes in your lifestyle and eating habits to protect yourself against heart disease and the other relates ones. The choice is yours. Today’s choices are tomorrow’s realities.

The coronary arteries carry blood from the heart to our body cells. Our arteries are very tiny. Very. They’re about the size of an eighth of an inch. Yes, that small. See how tiny they are? About the size of a cooked spaghetti. You could say they are fragile. As such they need to be treated with great care.

And it’s not that difficult for them to get clogged up with cholesterol or have fatty deposits form on their insides. Take a look at pictures of the arteries as they clog up over time.

While cholesterol or fat are not the only substances that can clog up your arteries, they are the major ones. How quickly the arteries get clogged will depend on the amount of cholesterol in the person’s blood; and we all know the source of cholesterol – diet!

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