A factor that affects the chances of suffering a coronary heart disease. Risk tends to increase with age, tobacco-smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, and high stress. Heredity is probably the single most important factor; those with a family history of heart disease being at a high risk. Males, particularly those who are bald-headed, are at a greater risk than females. Epidemiological studies indicate that physical inactivity doubles the risk of coronary heart disease. However, even low-intensity exercise is sufficient to produce physiological benefits, which reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. These benefits include enlargement of the coronary arteries, and increased size of the heart muscle and improved pumping capacity.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.