Interactive Tool: Are You at Risk for a Heart Attack?

Interactive Tool: Are You at Risk for a Heart Attack?

What does this tool help you learn?

This tool is one way to find your risk of having a heart attack in the next 10 years.

If you have diabetes or heart disease, you will need your doctor to help you find out your risk for a heart attack.

Methods used to calculate your heart attack risk are not perfect. But they give you and your doctor a good idea about your risk. This tool is based on information from the Framingham Heart Study. Since 1948 the Framingham Heart Study has studied the progression of heart disease and its risk factors.

What does your score mean?

Your score will appear in values from 1% to 99%. If your score is 5%, it means that 5 out of 100 people with this level of risk will have a heart attack in the next 10 years. If your score is 10%, it means that 10 out of 100 people with this level of risk will have a heart attack in the next 10 years.

Your doctor uses your risk score to help decide whether you need treatment to lower your risk for heart attack. Based on your risk, your doctor will likely suggest that you follow a healthy lifestyle, such as eating healthy and being active. Your doctor will also use your risk score to decide whether you need to take medicines. Your doctor may prescribe:

What's next?

If you are concerned about your score, talk to your doctor about lowering your risk for a heart attack. You can make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking or changing your diet, that can substantially reduce your chances of heart attack. But if your risk is high, your doctor may suggest that you start taking medicines to lower your chance of having a heart attack.

For more information, see the topics Coronary Artery Disease , High Cholesterol , and High Blood Pressure .

This information was adapted from the National Cholesterol Education Program and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). Risk Assessment tool for estimating your 10-year risk of having a heart attack. Available online http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/atpiii/calculator.asp.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Greenland P, et al. (2010). 2010 ACCF/AHA guideline for assessment of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic adults: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 56(25): e50–e103.
  • Grundy SM, et al. (2001). Executive summary of the third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). JAMA, 285(19): 2486–2497.
  • Grundy SM, et al. (2004). Implications of recent clinical trials of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III Guidelines. Circulation, 110(2): 227–239. [Erratum in Circulation, 110(6): 763.]
  • National Cholesterol Education Program and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). Risk Assessment tool for estimating your 10-year risk of having a heart attack. Available online: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/atpiii/calculator.asp.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Last RevisedMay 20, 2013

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