Heart Disease Home > Atherosclerosis Risk Factors

The more atherosclerosis risk factors you have, the greater your risk for the disease. Some risk factors, such as a family history of early heart disease, cannot be controlled, but most can be managed or treated. Examples of risk factors for atherosclerosis you have control over include having high cholesterol, being overweight or obese, cigarette smoking, and a lack of physical activity.

Atherosclerosis Risk Factors: An Introduction

Risk factors are conditions or behaviors that increase your chances of getting a certain disease. For atherosclerosis, the risk factors happen to be the same as for heart disease.
Just like risk factors for heart disease, some atherosclerosis risk factors can be treated or controlled and some cannot. Also, the more risk factors you have, the greater your risk of developing atherosclerosis. That's because risk factors tend to "gang up" and worsen each other's effects. Finally, the higher your level of each risk factor, the greater your risk of developing atherosclerosis.

Common Atherosclerosis Risk Factors

Risk factors for atherosclerosis include:
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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