Heart Disease Risk Factors

Heart Disease Risk Factors

Because heart disease is so common, it’s more important than ever for people to understand their risk of developing heart disease — and to take steps prevent it.

Your age and your family history both play a part in your risk for heart disease. The “at-risk” ages for men are 45 or older; for women, it’s 55 or older, or any time after menopause. Both men and women are considered at-risk if there is a family history: father or brother having heart disease before age 55 or mother or sister having heart disease before age 65.

Risk factors you can control

Unfortunately, you can’t control your age or your family history, but you do have some control over these other factors that may put you at risk:

  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor eating habits

Experts have recently added a new risk factor — inflammation of blood vessels, which may be triggered by high blood pressure, smoking or low-level infections. Inflammation of blood vessels can be detected through a simple blood test, and treated through anti-inflammatory therapies and a heart-healthy lifestyle. You can do an Online Health Assessment to help you determine your risk level.

Contact Information

Heart & Vascular Institute Administrative Offices
500 17th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-215-4545



Network of locations

Cardiovascular services are provided at our main facility at Cherry Hill and at multiple locations in King, Snohomish, Clallam and Grays Harbor Counties.

Are you at risk for heart disease?

More people are seeking the advice of a cardiologist before something bad happens. Let us help you evaluate and minimize your risk. Hear from a cardiologist and watch videos of heart patients and their journey through treatment.  

Learn More

What to expect during your hospital stay


Take a personalized interactive tour, click here. Also see: Patient Guide for Cardiac Surgery

Watch and learn


Educational videos on our innovative cardiovascular conditions and treatment options.