Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Family history

When you have a family history of a disease, this means a member of your family has, or had that disease. Generally, if you have a family history of a heart condition, you may have a higher risk of developing a heart condition. It is important to identify which member of your family had or has heart disease, and their age when they were first diagnosed.


Smoking affects the vessels that supply blood to your heart and other parts of your body. It reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and damages blood vessel walls. Smoking also contributes to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when there is narrowing and clogging of the arteries which reduces blood supply, and the amount of oxygen available, throughout the body. 

Smoking increases the risk of:


A health condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Having blood sugar levels that are consistently above the normal range can lead to serious complications, such as vision loss, kidney disease, foot and leg problems, and an increased risk of stroke and heart disease.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the biggest cause of death among people with diabetes.

Blood pressure

Blood pressure is the pressure of your blood on the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps it around your body. Your blood pressure will go up and down naturally throughout the day depending on what you are doing, especially if you are doing exercise.


High blood pressure is when your blood pressure is permanently higher than normal. High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, especially heart attacks and strokes.

Blood cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance necessary to make hormones and vitamin D, and to help you digest food. Your body produces cholesterol, and it is also in some foods. The human body uses cholesterol to build cells, but too much can put you at risk of heart disease.


The two most common types of cholesterol are:

High cholesterol generally does not have obvious symptoms, but it can increase the risk of serious health conditions if left untreated. This is why it is important to get a blood test and regular check-ups.


Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

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