Coronary Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification
A number of risk factors for developing coronary atherosclerosis have been identified. Some, such as a family history of cardiovascular disease and being a member of the male gender, cannot be changed. Many others, however, can be readily controlled. For instance, cigarette smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity are all associated with an increased incidence of coronary atherosclerosis, and are dynamics that can be readily modified through personal efforts. Similarly, the risk factors of high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol levels are closely associated with diet and exercise and can, therefore, frequently be controlled as well. Diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disease characterized by high blood sugar levels, is another important atherosclerosis risk factor. Individuals afflicted with diabetes mellitus can keep their condition in check in order to help decrease additional risk of coronary heart disease.