Heart disease is one of the biggest killers globally, ahead of cancer. Heart disease including blood vessel disease covers coronary heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke. It affects both sexes but males appear more prone which may be due in part to lifestyles.

1. Age.
The older we are, the greater the risk of our developing high blood pressure and disease of the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart. It is said that twice as many people die of heart disease aged between 55-64 years as those in 45-54 age group.
2. Family History
If your parents or siblings suffered a stroke at a young age (below 65 years for women and
below 55 years for men), you may have an increased risk of developing the disease.
3. Race
Black Africans and South Asians are said to be at higher risk of heart disease and stroke than other races.

4. Gender
Men are more likely to develop heart disease at an early age than women. This may be due to the lifestyles of men. However more women suffer strokes than men.
5. Being Diabetic (type 1)
Diabetes type 1 occurs early in life, in children, due to low insulin production, insulin is the agent which controls blood sugar level.
Diabetes causes narrowing and hardening of blood vessels including those supplying the heart thus reducing blood/oxygen to the heart muscles. This is coronary heart disease.
6. Menopause
The risk of developing heart disease by women is said to increase after menopause but the reason for this is not quite clear. Link to lower oestrogen (female hormone) level after menopause is not conclusive.

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