Director of Public Health Annual Report 2022: Preventing heart disease and stroke in Buckinghamshire

2. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease

The risk of cardiovascular disease is determined by a range of interlinked factors. Some risk factors are personal characteristics that cannot be changed, such as age and ethnicity. Modifiable risk factors include health-related behaviours such as smoking or biological or clinical risk factors such as high blood pressure. The physical, social and economic environment in which people live, learn and work also has a profound impact on their risk of cardiovascular disease. These broader determinants of health affect people’s stress levels, ability to adopt healthy behaviours or avoid exposure to harmful environmental conditions such as poor air quality which all impact on their cardiovascular health.

The risk factors are dealt with in turn in the following sections.