The majority of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is caused by risk factors that can be controlled, treated or modified, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, overweight/obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical activity and diabetes. However, there are also some major CVD risk factors that cannot be controlled.
In terms of attributable deaths, the leading CVD risk factor is raised blood pressure (to which 13 per cent of global deaths is attributed), followed by tobacco use (9 per cent), raised blood glucose (6 per cent), physical inactivity (6 per cent) and overweight and obesity (5 per cent).1
Modifiable risk factors:
(click on each for additional information)
Non-modifiable risk factors
In addition to the modifiable risk factors, there are some risk factors that cannot be changed. However, people in these high-risk categories should receive regular check-ups.
1Global Atlas on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control. Mendis S, Puska P, Norrving B editors. World Health Organization (in collaboration with the World Heart Federation and World Stroke Organization), Geneva 2011.