Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Congenital heart disease aside, heart disease generally occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart harden and narrow due to a build-up of plaque on the inner walls of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

Most of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease are modifiable and therefore can be changed. The main risk factors are: hypertension, high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity, a high waist circumference, diabetes (especially if it is poorly controlled), stress, and a sedentary lifestyle.