The older you get, the more likely it is that atherosclerosis will advance to the point where it produces symptoms. About 4 out of 5 people who die from coronary artery disease are 65 or older.

Sex (gender)

Overall, men have a higher risk for heart disease than women. But the difference narrows after women reach menopause. A female hormone, estrogen, seems to have a protective effect against heart disease. After the age of 65, the risk for heart disease is about the same between the sexes when other risk factors are similar.

Family History (heredity and race)

Heart disease tends to run in families. For example, if your parents have (or had) heart disease, you’re more likely to develop it yourself. Also, the risk of heart disease is higher among African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Americans of Pacific Island descent. Most people with a strong family history of heart disease also have one or more other risk factors, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Personal History

If you have a personal history of heart disease - for example, have already experienced chest pain or had a heart attack - you have a higher risk for recurring heart problems than someone without this history.

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