Heart Attack

Frequently Asked Questions

7. Who is at greatest risk of a heart attack?

Certain factors make it more likely that you will develop coronary artery disease and have a heart attack. These risk factors include some things you cannot change. You are at greater risk if you

  • are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55
  • have a family history of early heart disease -- heart disease in a father or brother before age 55 or in a mother or sister before age 65
  • have had preeclampsia, a condition that can develop during pregnancy.

Importantly, there are many risk factors for heart attack that you CAN change, including

  • smoking
  • being obese or overweight
  • being physically inactive
  • having high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or diabetes
  • eating an unhealthy diet.