How Does My Age Affect My Risk?
CVD becomes a bigger threat after the age of 65 for women, but this doesn’t mean your risk only begins at that age. Plaque buildup, which contributes to CVD, begins in childhood. The buildup becomes more severe with age because there has been more time for the arteries or vessels that deliver blood to the heart to become clogged.
Heart disease can also develop in young children through defects or infections at birth.
While the majority of heart disease deaths occur after age 55, the risk for CVD is set early on, through behaviours and lifestyle habits that begin in childhood and continue into adulthood. Obesity, unhealthy eating, and lack of physical activity are all major CVD risk factors and can begin before the age of 10. Unhealthy eating and lack of exercise can lead to childhood obesity, increasing the risk for heart disease. This is a major concern as obesity rates are rising among the young and the onset of cardiovascular disease is showing up earlier.