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Who's at risk and why?

Adults :: CVD :: Who's at risk and why?

There are multiple risk factors for CVD, which can be classified as unmodifiable and modifiable risks.

Unmodifiable risk factors include age, sex, family history and ethnicity. The risk of CVD increases with age, is more common in men (until women reach the menopause) and in people from South Asian descent. People of African-Caribbean descent have a 25-50% lower risk of CHD than the White population, however, black people have the highest stroke mortality rates. The proportion of the population from the black and minority ethnic groups in Medway is estimated to be 10.4%[1].

Modifiable risk factors for CVD include smoking, obesity, inactivity, excessive alcohol intake and stress. These factors lead to hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia, which are key causes of CVD. It is estimated that 74% of the population between 35 and 74 who do not have existing CVD have a low risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event in the next 10 years. A further 18% are estimated to have a moderate risk, and 8% a high risk of CVD[2].


[1]   Office for National Statistics. Table KS201EW: 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales.
[2]   HippisleyCox J, Coupland C, Vinogradova Y, et al. Derivation and validation of QRISK, a new cardiovascular disease risk scores for the United Kingdom: prospective open cohort study British Medical Journal 2007; 335: 136.