The risk factors for heart disease seem pretty straightforward. All you have to worry about is age, gender, race, and family history, right?

As if those risk factors aren’t worrisome enough, there are actually more that you probably aren’t considering.

Heart disease risk factors come in more shapes and sizes than you think, and we’re here to tell you about all of them.


Bot Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes carry side effects of obesity and high blood pressure.

When blood sugar levels are too high, the body cannot use glucose as fuel and therefore breaks down fat instead.

This glucose stays in the blood stream, damaging blood vessels.

The heart health risks that accompany diabetes are due to the high triglyceride and cholesterol levels, as well as obesity, high blood sugar, and poor circulation.


In some way or another, we all know that obesity is bad for our health.

However, it’s link to heart disease is one of the most dangerous things it brings to the table.

Simply put, obesity is too much body fat.

Too much body fat raises levels of bad cholesterol and promotes poor circulation which leads to high blood pressure as well.

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Gender statistics for heart attack risk are different for males and females.

Men are more likely to have a heart attack at a younger age, but women are more likely to die from a heart attack.

While heart disease is thought of as a predominantly male issue, many don’t realize that women who are post-menopausal experience great risk due to hormonal changes, and have a lower survival rate.


Smoking doesn’t just put you at risk for emphezema and lung cancer!

The nicotine in cigarettes tightens your blood vessels, and the carbon monoxide can damage your artery linings and make your blood vessels more susceptible to hardening.

Putting down the cigarettes will not just literally help you breathe easier, but it will help lower your risk for heart disease.


In a roundabout way, stress can lead to a risk for heart disease.

Stressful lifestyles might triggers such things as overeating, poor diet, and inactivity—all of which contribute to poor heart health.

Stressful environments can also cause blood pressure to go up as well as your heart rate.

Stress’s effect on heart health is a good indicator that taking care of mental health is just as beneficial as physical health.


Preeclampsia is a condition in pregnant women that causes high blood pressure and damage to other organs (usually the kidneys).

No one is certain of what causes preeclampsia,but it is known that the blood vessels that develop in the placenta during pregnancy do not develop fully or efficiently, which might be a contributing factor.

Having preeclampsia one or multiple times is a risk factor for heart disease.


Age is an uncontrollable risk factor for heart disease, but it is a manageable one that we all can be more aware of.

As we age, our arteries naturally become more narrow and hard, and our heart muscle weakens.

Also, our body’s natural production of nitric oxide decreases, which means our body’s natural way of opening up blood vessels for better circulation isn’t as effective.

Aging is inevitable, but you can take preventative measures to stay on top of your heart health as you age.

Remember to monitor your blood pressure regularly, eat healthy, stay active, and visit your doctor regularly.

Family History:

While you can’t control your family’s health problems, you should certainly take them into consideration when it comes to your own health.

A family history of heart disease is a good indicator of risk-knowing you family history can give you a little more control when it comes to maintaining heart health.

If you know you’re already predisposed to heart disease, you can take proactive and preventative measures to lessen risk brought about by being careless with your lifestyle.