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Coronary Atherosclerosis

Coronary Atherosclerosis: Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatments | SingHealth

Coronary Atherosclerosis - Causes and Risk Factors

​Though the exact cause of coronary atherosclerosis is unknown, a number of modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors increase a person’s possibility of having it. 

Modifiable risk factors 
  • High blood pressure (hypertension): High blood pressure can cause damage to the walls of blood vessels, allowing plaque to build up. 
  • High cholesterol: Your total cholesterol levels should be kept as low as possible because any excess cholesterol may be deposited in the arteries. This build-up causes the arteries to harden and narrow, preventing or reducing blood flow to the heart.  
  • Smoking: Nicotine, a chemical found in cigarettes, causes damage to blood vessels and also can cause constriction of vessels. 
  • Diabetes mellitus: Diabetes results in damage of the inner layers of blood vessels, increasing the build-up of plaque.
  • Obesity: Being overweight can increase one’s risk of coronary atherosclerosis. 
  • Unhealthy diet: Eating foods high in saturated fats can increase the level of cholesterol in the body which causes the build-up of plaque that clog the arteries. 
  • Lack of exercise: An inactive lifestyle is associated with increased risk of coronary atherosclerosis.

Non-modifiable risk factors 
  • Age: Those who are older have a higher risk of developing coronary atherosclerosis. 
  • Genetics: Those with a family history of coronary atherosclerosis are more likely to suffer from this condition. 

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