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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.

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.

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.

Knowing your risk is just the starting point for you and your doctor. Knowing your risk can help you and your doctor talk about whether you need to lower your risk. Together, you can decide what treatment is best for you.

Your treatment choices may include:

  • Heart-healthy lifestyle changes such as eating healthy, being active, losing weight, and quitting smoking.
  • Cholesterol medicine called statins.
  • High blood pressure medicine.
  • Low-dose aspirin therapy.

What's next?

Talk with your doctor about your risk. Ask your doctor how you can lower your risk. Together, you can decide what is right for you.

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

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

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Current as of March 12, 2014

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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