Risk factors. Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) occurs when the walls of blood vessels thicken due to deposits of fat and plaque. This narrowing or blockage of the arteries causes heart disease. The risk factors for heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes.
Additional info. Additionally it is important to recognize that many of the causes are modifiable, thus why mds promote living a healthy life style and seeing your doctor regularly. However, genetics also play an important role and if you have a strong family history of heart disease this also raises your own risk.