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1. Age

Age is a key contributor to your patients’ risk of CVD. As a person gets older, the heart undergoes subtle physiologic changes, even in the absence of disease. Also, as we get older, factors affecting cardiovascular health build up, and the risk of cardiovascular problems increases.8

2. Family history

It’s important to identify whether your patient has a family history of CVD. This is where a father, mother, brother or sister has suffered a heart attack, stroke, angina or had heart surgery. Premature heart problems (under 55 years old for a male relative and under 65 for a female relative) are particularly significant.8

One of the inherited factors could be elevated cholesterol level. If your patient has inherited this condition, then encourage them to take action to lower their cholesterol.10

Also type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, which are other risk factors for the development of CVD, have a genetic component.11,12

3. Ethnicity

There are striking ethnic differences in CVD. Those with African or Asian ancestry are at an increased risk of developing CVD than other racial groups.8

4. Gender

Men are at a greater risk of heart disease than pre-menopausal women. However, once past the menopause, a woman’s risk will become similar to a man’s. The risk of stroke is similar for both men and women.8

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