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Coronary Artery Disease; Risk factors

Updated on November 5, 2012

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Artery Disease or CAD, occurs when the major coronary arteries supplying the myocardium,(heart tissue)are partially or completely blocked. Blockage of the arteriesis caused by coronary artery spasm, or arteriosclariosis. This can be the result of a heart attack, or some kind of damage to the heart tissue.

Arteriosclerosis is a thickening and therefore, hardening of the artery walls, that will also result in loss of elasticity.Cells of collagen travel into the innermost layer of the artery causing the arteries to thicken and as a result, stiffen.

Fat, calcium and clots adhere to the damaged arterial wall. this process limits the elasticity of the wall and decreases flow of oxygen carrying blood to tissues. Arteriosclerosis caused high blood pressure.

Cardiovascular Disorders

Cardiovascular disorders are the collection of diseases and conditions that involve the heart and blood vessels. It is a broad term that refers to conditions and their resulting complications.These complications include angina and heart attack. Coronary artery disease affects the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood. Risk factors are traits and lifestyle habits that may increase one's chances of developing a disease.

Risk Factors

Nonmodifiable Factors
Modifiable Factors
Contributing Factors
High Blood Pressure
Elevated Serum Cholesterol
Inflammatory Markers
Tobacco Use
Alcohol Intake
Physical Inactivity

Nonmodifiable Factors

Heredity. Family history plays a part in developing cardiovascular disease and affects some of the modifiable risk factors.

Race. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American Indians, blacks, and whites.

Gender. Cardiovascular disease is more common in men than in women.(begins at an earlier age)

Age. Cardiovascular disease increases with age.

Modifiable Factors

High blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and end-stage renal disease. Cutting out table salt and processed foods can lower blood pressure.

High Cholesterol. Improving one's diet can significantly reduce cholesterol levels.

Tobacco use. Smoking greatly increases risk of heart disease.

Obesity. Is associated with increased risk of heart disease and increases the likelihood of developing coronary disease.

Contributing risk factors

Stress. Epinephrine is released during stress causing heart rate and blood pressure to increase.

Psychosocial Factors. People with depression are at greater risk for developing heart disease.

Alcohol Intake. Excessive alcohol intake is also associated with increased death from stroke and cancer.


Hypertension (high blood pressure) contributes to heart attack, stroke,, heart failure, and kidney failure. It is referred to as the silent killer because many people are seem perfectly healthy and do not have any symptoms. It usually increases with age and is more common in African Americans than any other race. Heredity, obesity, smoking and stress contribute to hypertension.


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    • Skarlet profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California

      Thank you for your comment yougotme, I am doing an outline to continue the hub. It gets a little depressing to write about, but, I think it is an important subject.

    • yougotme profile image

      Renz Kristofer Cheng 

      6 years ago from Manila

      Appreciated these facts, but it would be more of a help if you could expand on some of the statements/facts.


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