A buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries (atherosclerosis) is the most common cause of coronary artery disease. Unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as a poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and smoking, can lead to atherosclerosis.
Who is most likely to get heart disease?
Heart attack risk factors include:
- Age. Men age 45 or older and women age 55 or older are more likely to have a heart attack than are younger men and women.
- High blood pressure.
- High blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
- Metabolic syndrome.
- Family history of heart attacks.
Can heart problems come on suddenly?
Heart failure occurs when your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s demand. This can be chronic, meaning it happens slowly over time. Or it can be acute, meaning it happens suddenly.
How does heart disease affect the body?
Heart disease can also affect your heart valves. Your valves may become too narrow to allow blood to flow forward, which can cause blood to flow backward into the heart. Heart valve problems can make you feel light-headed and fatigued. They can also cause chest pain and shortness of breath.