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Risk Factors 
Risk factors are traits or lifestyle habits that increase your chance of developing or progressing heart disease or increasing your risk of stroke. The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk of having a heart attack or stroke is. This page highlights a variety of risk factors and provides resources for additional information and support.

We invite you to listen to 6 Steps to Heart Disease Prevention by Dr. Jane Pearson.

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Manage Risk Factors

Learn how to manage heart disease risk factors.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors

Some risk factors you cannot control; these are called uncontrollable risk factors and include:
Age- the older you get, the more likely you are to develop or progress heart disease.
Gender- Earlier in life, men are at a greater risk than women for having a heart attack or stroke. After menopause, women’s risk rises greatly.
Race/Ethnicity- African Americans typically have higher blood pressure than Caucasians which can put them at a greater risk for heart disease.
Previous Heart Attack or Stroke- If you have already had a heart attack or stroke, you are at a higher risk for having a second heart attack or stroke.
Family History- You may be at a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke if your brother, father or grandfather had one before the age of 55 or if your sister, mother or grandmother had one before the age of 65.

The Female Risk Factor for Heart Disease

Controllable Risk Factors - High Blood Pressure

Click here to review an educational guide.

The Blood Pressure Risk Factor For Heart Disease

Blood Pressure Medications

High Blood Cholesterol

Click here to review and educational guide.

The Cholesterol Risk Factor for Heart Disease

Cigarette Smoking & Second-Hand Smoke

Calculate how much money you've spent on cigarettes.

The Smoking Risk Factor for Heart Disease


Check out our weight loss guide and learn how to lose weight the healthy way.

Calculate your ideal weight.

Get some tips to get moving in our exercise guide.

Calculate how many calories you're burning during activites.


Type II Diabetes Guide
Type I Diabetes Guide

The Weight and Diabetes Risk Factor For Heart Disease


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