Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease

Concern yourself with Framingham hard risks:

  • Age: Men >40; Post-menopausal Women
  • Tobacco (any cigarettes in past month; regular smoking in past 1-2 years)
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperlipidemia

Other equally-hard risks include:

  • Strong Family History of CAD: within a few years of patient’s current age.  For women, a maternal family history of MI or CAD is particularly ominous.
  • Same-day cocaine or amphetamine use.
  • HIV Infection (especially if untreated)
  • History of typical anginal exertional chest pain, even if that’s not the pain your patient is seeking care for today.

Don’t worry about soft risks such as obesity or sedentary life-style.  They’re way too common, exactly why they’re so important for overall health and prevention.  But statistically, they won’t help with diagnosis.