What are modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors?

Here, I am giving some light on the modifiable and non-modifiable diseases, which are harmful to our health.

Coronary heart disease is the major killer in the world today. These killer risk factors can be controlled if we are aware of the risk factors of CHD. The factors which can change are modifiable and those that can’t are non-modifiable.

Non- modifiable risk factors

1) Increasing age– Incidence of CHD increases with age, majority of patients being in the 50 plus.

2) Sex– Men have a greater risk of CHD than women and they have attacks earlier in life.

3) Hereditary — Children of parents with CHD are more likely to develop it themselves. The lifestyle of the family, presence of other risk factors like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes in the family increase the risk.

Modifiable risk factors

1) Smoking — about 30% of the smoking-related deaths are due to CHD and smoking is responsible for about 20% of all death from CHD. Smokers who have a heart attack are more likely to die. Apart from the smokers, the people around the smoker( passive smokers) are also at the increase risk.


2) Hypertension — The risk of CHD increases continuously with increasing blood pressure. Hypertension damage the endothelial lining of the arteries making them more susceptible to atherosclerosis and vasospasm.

Blood Pressure

3) High cholesterol levels — the risk of CHD rises as blood cholesterol levels increase. High blood cholesterol levels also increase the incidence of death due to CHD. The source of cholesterol can be exogenous( from the diet) or endogenous( produced in the body mainly by the liver). Today, people are eating an increased amount of non-vegetarian foods or junk foods and contributing to exogenous source of cholesterol.

Hear rate chart

4) Obesity– people who have excess body fat are more likely to develop CHD even if they have no other risk factors. Obesity is directly linked with CHD because it influences blood pressure, blood cholesterol and triglycerides and makes diabetes more likely to develop. Central obesity which is associated with increased abdominal fats has a greater adverse effect on associated risk factors and actual risk of CHD.


So, there is a strong positive relationship between the degree of obesity and the presence of hypertension, hypertriglyceridaemia, hyperinsulinemia and low level of HDL – cholesterol.

5) Physical Activity — Physically inactive people have a higher tendency to develop obesity, diabetes, low blood viscosity and low HDL cholesterol and all are at an increased risk of developing CHD.


People who exercise regularly have a greater cardiorespiratory reserve. Regular exercise is an excellent stress reliever.

6) Diabetes– Diabetes is a strong risk factor in women. Both IDDM and NIDDM are associated with a markedly increased risk of CHD. Diabetes increases triglycerides, reduce HDL cholesterol, damage the endothelium and promote smooth muscle proliferation in the arteries and increase transport of cholesterol into smooth muscle cells.

Diabetes checking

7) Stress— In daily life, we are under great stress these days. People are facing problems even to get their basic needs. The cost of living is increasing and people find it difficult to make their ends meet. The families are breaking and the responsibilities are not being shared. People under stress tend to overeat, start smoking or some more than they otherwise would. Stress can increase blood pressure, heart rate and adverse effects on coagulation and fibrinolysis.


A negative mind never gives you a positive life.

8) Oral contraceptive pills – there is evidence to suggest that the pill damages the arteries and increase the incidence of CHD, especially when taken 5 years or more. Risk is greater in women above 35 years old and in the presence of other risk factors.

Oral pills 💊

So, hope now you will take care of yourself, your families and friends.

Dr S.k.jha

Now I hope you will enjoy your life.


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