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Healtheuniversity > English > Cardiac College > Treat Heart Disease > Risk Factors > Emerging Risk Factors

Emerging Risk Factors

New research is attempting to identify other possible risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These emerging risk factors may help to explain why some people are at greater risk for developing heart disease. However, more research and evidence is needed to confirm if these emerging risk factors are linked to the development of heart disease.

Research has identified the following emerging risk factors.

  • High C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels. CRP is a protein associated with inflammation found in the blood.
  • Infection. Viruses and other infectious agents may harm blood vessel walls, starting the plaque building process.
  • Gum disease may be associated with heart disease.
  • High homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid in your body that may lead to the build-up of fatty substances in the arteries. It may also increase the blood clotting and make blood vessels stiff and hard. This makes good blood flow more difficult.
  • Calcium content found in the coronary arteries.
  • High levels of Lp(a) lipoprotein. Lp(a) is a lipoprotein associated with LDL cholesterol that may be a risk factor for early heart disease. It may cause blood clots to form.
  • Early menopause. Women who go into early menopause are twice as likely to have heart attacks or strokes.
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