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Risk Assessment Tool for Estimating Your 10-year Risk of Having a Heart Attack

This risk assessment tool uses information from the Framingham Heart Study to predict your risk of developing a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or death from coronary disease in the next 10 years. This tool is designed for people aged 20 years and older without known heart disease and who do not have diabetes. The quiz will assess your cardiac risk factors and estimate your chances of a heart attack

The risk factors included in the Framingham calculation are age, cigarette smoking, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure measurement and treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure). Point values are calculated based on each of these risks.

This risk score may not adequately reflect the long-term or lifetime coronary heart disease risk of young adults, which is one in two for men and one in three for women.

*Note: This information is provided for education purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. While we strive to keep our website current, medical practices sometimes change quickly. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.


Do you have a family history of early heart disease (younger than age 55 in father or brother or younger than age 65 in mother or sister)? Yes No
Have you smoked even one cigarette in the past month? Yes No
Are you taking medication to treat high blood pressure? Yes No
Select your sex.
Select your age.
What is your total cholesterol (mg/dL)?
What is your HDL (good) cholesterol (mg/dL)?
What was the first number--the systolic pressure--in your most recent blood pressure reading?
 
Reset Values

Your risk category

These categories are based on guidelines established by the National Cholesterol Education Program.

  • Highest risk: A greater than 20% risk that you will develop a heart attack or die from coronary disease in the next 10 years. This risk can be reduced by addressing and managing your risk factors with the help of your doctor.
  • Intermediate risk: A 10 to 20% risk that you will develop a heart attack or die from coronary disease in the next 10 years. This risk can be reduced by addressing and managing your risk factors with the help of your doctor.
  • Low risk: Less than 10% risk that you will develop a heart attack or die from coronary disease in the next 10 years. Continue to manage your risk factors and visit your doctor regularly to assess your risk.

Important Note: The presence of any cardiovascular disease risk factor, including a family history of cardiovascular disease, requires appropriate attention because a single risk factor may mean that you have a high risk for developing cardiovascular disease in the long run, even if the 10-year risk does not appear to be high.

Determining 10-year (short term) risk for developing CHD is carried out using Framingham risk scoring. The risk factors included in the Framingham calculation are age, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, treatment for hypertension, and cigarette smoking. Because of a larger database, Framingham estimates are more robust for total cholesterol than for LDL cholesterol. Note, however, that LDL cholesterol remains the primary target of therapy. The Framingham risk score gives estimates for “hard CHD” which includes myocardial infarction and coronary death [return to top]

Total cholesterol - Total cholesterol is the sum of all the cholesterol in your blood. The higher your total cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart disease. Here are the total values that matter to you:

  • Less than 200 mg/dL 'Desirable' level that puts you at lower risk for heart disease. A cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or greater increases your risk.
  • 200 to 239 mg/dL 'Borderline-high.'
  • 240 mg/dL and above 'High' blood cholesterol. A person with this level has more than twice the risk of heart disease compared to someone whose cholesterol is below 200 mg/dL. [return to top]

HDL cholesterol - High density lipoproteins (HDL) is the 'good' cholesterol. HDL carry cholesterol in the blood from other parts of the body back to the liver, which leads to its removal from the body. So HDL help keep cholesterol from building up in the walls of the arteries. Here are the HDL-Cholesterol Levels that matter to you:

  • Less than 40 mg/dL A major risk factor for heart disease
  • 40 to 59 mg/dL The higher your HDL, the better
  • 60 mg/dL and above An HDL of 60 mg/dL and above is considered protective against heart disease. [return to top]

Smoker - Select “yes” if you have smoked any cigarettes in the past month. [return to top]

Systolic blood pressure - Systolic blood pressure is the first number of your blood pressure reading. For example, if your reading is 120/80 (120 over 80), your systolic blood pressure is 120. [return to top]


Used with permission from the National Cholesterol Education Program, Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III), Heart, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/index.htm

Additional Reference: Wilson PWF, et al. Prediction of coronary heart disease using risk factor categories. Circulation 1998. 97(18):1837-1847.

 







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