Cardiovascular risk factors are features that may increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease or stroke. Common risk factors include old age, gender (male), family history, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking and sedentary lifestyle. Some of these are “modifiable” (such as smoking or diabetes) meaning you can get treatment to reduce your risk. However other factors (such as age, sex and family history) are “non-modifiable” as you cannot change them.