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coronary risk factors

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Alternative Names
coronary heart disease risk factors, arteriosclerotic heart disease risk factors, arteriosclerosis risk factors

Coronary risk factors are those conditions or diseases that increase a person's risk of developing coronary artery disease, or CAD. In CAD, a blockage develops in the arteries that supply blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart. This can lead to heart attack and even death.

What is the information for this topic?
Deposits of cholesterol or fat build up in the blood vessels leading to the heart and can cause the vessels to become blocked. These deposits slowly get bigger over time. This buildup process is called arteriosclerosis.

Coronary risk factors that increase a person's risk of arteriosclerosis and CAD include: Other risk factors are also being studied.

Coronary artery disease is the number one cause of death in Australia and in many other countries. It is also associated with a higher risk of: People who have coronary artery disease are also at a greater risk of artery blockage in other areas of the body, such as:
  • blockage in the arteries that supply blood to the brain, which can cause a stroke
  • blockage in the arteries of the legs, which can lead to pain or cramping in the legs with exertion
  • blockage in the arteries that supply blood to the penis and its nerves, which can lead to erectile dysfunction
  • blockage in the arteries that supply the intestines, which can cause abdominal distress every time a person eats. This may lead to serious infection, the need for emergency surgery, or even death.
  • blockage in the arteries that supply the kidneys, which can cause high blood pressure and chronic renal failure
Identification of personal risk factors is important in helping an individual reduce his or her overall risk of CAD. An individual who has one or more risk factors for CAD should talk to his or her doctor. A person should make every effort to reduce coronary risk factors. This may include smoking cessation, control of other diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and eating a healthy diet for heart disease. Medications may need to be adjusted to achieve the best response.

Reviewer: HealthAnswers Australia Medical Review Panel
Editor: Dr David Taylor, Chief Medical Officer HealthAnswers Australia
Last Updated: 1/10/2001
Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request

This website and article is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.  All Health and any associated parties do not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information.


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