Risk factors for cardiovascular disease

There are a number of risk factors associated with developing CVD.4Some risk factors such as increasing age, male gender and family history of premature CVD cannot be changed. Other risk factors which can be addressed include excess weight, physical inactivity, an unhealthy diet, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

High blood pressure (hypertension) and high blood cholesterol are two other major risk factors for CVD. It is estimated that one in three Australian adults has either hypertension (blood pressure ≥ 140/90mmHg),5 or high cholesterol (total blood cholesterol ≥5.5mmol/L).6 The good news is these risk factors can also be addressed through a healthy lifestyle.


4 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Cardiovascular disease: Australian facts 2011 [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2015 Feb 09]; Cardiovascular disease series no.35.Cat.no.CVD 53.Canberra:AIHW. Available fromhttp://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737418510

5 Australian Bureau of Statistics [Internet]. Canberra: ABS;2013. Australian Health Survey: Health Service Usage and Health Related Actions, 2011-12. Hypertension. Cat 4364.0.55.002. [updated 2013 April 12; cited 2016 Feb 09] Available: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/lookup/322DB1B539ACCC6CCA257B39000F316C?opendocument.

6 Australian Bureau of Statistics [Internet]. Canberra: ABS;2013. Australian Health Survey: Biomedical Results for Chronic Diseases, 2011-12. Cholesterol. Cat 4364.0.55.005. [updated 2013 August 5; cited 2016 Feb 09]. Available: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4812278BC4B8FE1ECA257BBB001217A4?opendocument