Who is at risk?


The leading controllable risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (particularly heart disease and stroke) are:

High blood pressure
  • The precursor of developing heart attack and stroke
  • It results when blood places an excessive amount of force against the walls of blood vessels
  • Gives extra burden to heart and kidneys
  • Weakens blood vessels in the brain
High cholesterol
  • High levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins), and low levels of HDL increase risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2 diabetes)
  • The risk of cardiovascular diseases is 2-3 times higher in people with DM
  • In some age groups, people with diabetes have a two-fold increase in the risk of stroke 
Cigarette smoking
  • The risk of developing CVDs is higher in smokers, especially in people who started young
  • Passive smoking is of additional risk
Physical Inactivity
  • Can be defined as less than five times of 30- min of moderate activity per week
  • Increases risk of heart disease and stroke by 50% 
Overweight or Obesity
  • Obesity is strongly related to major cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and dyslipidaemia
Unhealthy Diets
  • High dietary intakes of saturated fat, trans-fats and salt or low intake of fruits, vegetables and fish are linked to cardiovascular risk.

There are some risk factors that cannot be modified. People in these high-risk categories should receive regular check-ups.
  • Advancing Age: As a person gets older, the heart undergoes subtle physiological changes and may work less efficiently; risk of stroke doubles every 10 years after age 55.
  • Gender: Higher rates of coronary heart disease among men compared with women (premenopausal age); risk of stroke is similar for men and women.
  • Family history: Increased risk if 1st degree relatives have coronary heart disease or stroke before 55-year old (for a male relative) or 65-year old (for a female relative).
  • Race: Increased cardiovascular disease deaths noted for South Asians and American Blacks in comparison with Whites.