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Cardiovascular Risk Factors

PORTADAS WEB_riesgo cardiovascular
15 Mar 2024
3 Min
Health and advice

What is cardiovascular risk?

Cardiovascular risk is the probability that each person has of suffering from cardiovascular disease, that is, suffering from disorders of the heart or blood vessels, including coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases.

Main cardiovascular risk factors

Cardiovascular risk factors are those that directly affect the appearance of cardiovascular diseases or that can increase the risk of suffering from them, and they can be modifiable or non-modifiable. These are:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension): Hypertension puts more strain on the heart and overloads it, increasing the risk of heart disease or stroke.
  • High cholesterol: Cholesterol is a lipid (fatty substance) transported in the blood, and can be found in all cells of the body. It is produced by the liver and it is also obtained from foods with animal origin or with large amounts of saturated fats. When there is too much “bad cholesterol” (low-density lipoprotein or LDL) in the blood, it begins to accumulate on the walls of the arteries, causing the blood not to flow well and increasing the risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease.
  • Diabetes: heart problems are very common among diabetics, both type 1 and type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Good control of blood glucose (sugar) levels can reduce cardiovascular risk.
  • Obesity and Overweight: Excess weight can raise cholesterol and cause high blood pressure or diabetes. All of these situations are risk factors for heart disease.
  • Smoking: Smoking raises blood pressure and heart rate, and can cause heart rhythm irregularities, making the heart work harder. Cigarette smoke, in addition, is composed of chemicals that also harm the heart. It also affects the inner walls of the vasculature throughout the body.
  • Physical inactivity or sedentary lifestyle: physical exercise burns calories, and therefore helps control cholesterol levels and diabetes. It also strengthens the heart muscle and makes the arteries more flexible. Therefore, inactive people tend to have a higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease.
  • Sex: Men, in general, have a higher risk of heart disease than women. This difference is reduced when women begin menopause, since they begin to produce less estrogen, and this hormonal imbalance has been shown to increase women’s risk of suffering from heart disease.
  • Genetics/Heredity: Many heart and circulatory problems tend to run in families; Having a family history increases cardiovascular risk. Other risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity can also be transmitted from generation to generation. It should also be noted that certain cardiovascular diseases are more common among certain racial and ethnic groups.
  • Age: with age, the functioning of the heart usually deteriorates, since it cannot pump blood as efficiently, causing hardening and loss of flexibility of the arteries.
  • Stress: in stressful situations, heart rate and blood pressure increase, increasing the heart’s need for oxygen. Additionally, the inner layer of the arteries can be damaged due to the release of hormones that occur during stress.
  • Harmful consumption of alcohol: Excessing a moderate alcohol consumption can cause heart problems such as hypertension, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle) or strokes. In addition, the calories from alcohol, if consumed in excess, increase body fat, in turn increasing cardiovascular risk.


The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance of developing heart disease. Keeping as many risk factors as possible under control through lifestyle changes and/or medications, can reduce cardiovascular risk.

At CreuBlanca we take care of your health from the heart. Remember, the heart is the engine of our body and prevention is the best tool against cardiovascular diseases. In our Cardiology Unit we have state-of-the-art technology and highly specialized professionals in the prevention, early diagnosis and personalized treatment of multiple cardiovascular pathologies, helping you enjoy a healthy lifestyle, improve your quality of life and prevent diseases. Make an appointment today.


Cardiovascular Risk Factors