Health Topics: Heart Health Assessment
Determine your risk of developing significant coronary heart disease within the next ten years based on your age, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and other risk factors.
Before using the tool, you will need to know your:
- Blood pressure
- Total cholesterol level
- HDL-cholesterol level
Like any assessment tool, a positive result does not mean you have the condition; it simply means you are likely to benefit from further evaluation by your physician.
This tool is designed for adults aged 30 and older who do not have heart disease, diabetes or a family history of early heart disease (heart disease in father or brother before age 55; heart disease in mother or sister before 65).
Despite recent progress in reducing mortality associated with coronary heart disease (CHD), it is still the number one cause of death in the United States. The major risk factors for CHD are well known and have been studied extensively. One way of studying these risk factors is to follow large groups of Americans over a long period of time, keeping track of their health behaviors and other relevant indicators, and seeing who ultimately develops CHD and who does not.
This tool is based on the 30-plus year experience of men and women who participated in the Framingham Heart Study, which is probably the best-known study of its kind. It is designed to help you assess your risk of developing CHD over the next 10 years if you are between the ages of 30 and 74. It is important to note that the tool does not take into account all CHD risk factors (most notably family history) which may compromise the results. Another drawback is that it is based on a largely white population; however, some studies have indicated that the results are applicable to African-Americans and other non-white populations.