USMLE Step 1 - Question 41

A 56 year old female has a history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus type II, elevated low density lipoprotein levels, and smokes tobacco. Which of the above is the most significant risk factor for the development of atherosclerotic heart disease?

A. Hypertension

B. Diabetes mellitus type II

C. Elevated low density lipoprotein

D. Tobacco use

Diabetes mellitus (DM) type II is considered an atherosclerotic heart disease equivalent meaning when diabetes type II is present, so is atherosclerotic heart disease. The other choices to significantly increase the risk of developing atherosclerotic heart disease, but not as much as diabetes mellitus type II.