CVD risk factors you can’t change
The risk factors predisposing a person to cardiovascular diseases include some that
cannot be altered. These risk factors include:

• Family history of early heart disease
• Age
• Sex (males are at greater risk at ages below 65)
• Race (South Asians and Black Americans are often at greater risk)
• Having already had a heart attack
• Chronic kidney disease
• Presence of some blood clotting factors relating to fibrinogen and factor VII,
and certain rare variant forms of genes

Age is among the strongest predictors of cardiovascular risk because of the longer
duration of exposure to risk factors such as high LDL-C and high blood pressure.
Another age-related risk is the genetic mutation disorder called clonal hematopoiesis
of indeterminate potential or CHIP. CHIP is rare in persons younger than 40 but
may exist in up to 10% of persons age 70 or older. For reasons that are not clear,
CHIP carriers have about double the risk of coronary heart disease, and carriers
younger than age 50 have been found to have four times the risk of heart attack as

CVD risk factors you can change
Many of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases can be modified
so as to decrease risk. These risk factors include:

• High blood cholesterol, (primarily low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL-C)
• Unhealthy diet, (a diet high in saturated and trans-fat, sugar, salt, red meat,
highly refined carbohydrates, and processed foods)
• High blood pressure
• Smoking and air pollution
• Lack of physical activity
• Diabetes
• Obesity
• Heavy alcohol consumption
• Stress, anger, and depression
• Inflammation and elevated C-reactive protein (CRP)—a marker of

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel