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Coronary Artery Disease
What is CAD?
What are the symptoms of CAD?
What causes CAD?
Who is at risk for CAD?
How to detect CAD?
How is CAD treated?

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Home : General public : Who is at risk for CAD?
Who is at risk for CAD?
Cardiovascular risk factors

There are some factors which you can modify and others that you cannot change:

Non-modifiable risk factors


Your age: The older you get the more you are concerned. Women are much more concerned once they have reached the menopause.

Your family history:
if your parents, grandparents or brothers and sisters suffered a cardiovascular accident at a relatively young age (before 55 for men and before 65 for women), the risk of your suffering one is higher.

Your medical background


Your gender


Your ethnic background


Modifiable risk factors

Two of these risk factors can be diminished by you alone, or almost:

Smoking: smoking considerably increases your risk (not only of a cardiac accident, but also of lung cancer, cancer of the mouth or larynx, cervical cancer or cancer of the bladder...).

A sedentary lifestyle: people who do not regularly practice a physical activity such as taking a brisk walk at least once a week, have a shorter life expectancy than those who are “physically active”.



For the other modifiable risk factors, you will need the help of your doctor:

  Hypertension (raised blood pressure)
Diabetes
Obesity
Increased cholesterol

Epidemiological studies have clearly shown the harmful effects of cholesterol. The risk of cardiac accidents increases with the increase in the blood cholesterol level when it exceeds 1.8 to 2 g per litre.

In adult person, if the cholesterol level exceeds 10% of the normal value, the risk of a cardiac accident increases by 30%. It is sometimes necessary to perform a comprehensive lipids profile and not just measure the total cholesterol level. The interpretation of this profile is a complex exercise.

The lipids profile is composed of the levels of four kinds of fats present in the blood: LDL-cholesterol (also known as ‘bad cholesterol’), HDL-cholesterol (also known as ‘good cholesterol’), total cholesterol and triglycerides. When these figures are abnormal, it is the doctor who must adapt the person’s diet and treatment, often with the help of a dietician.

 
Lack of exercise
Excessive alcohol consumption

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This site is published and updated by the EUROPA study investigators. Site last updated March 21st 2006
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