Calculating heart disease risk

Section: PREVENTION
Even in healthy individuals, certain factors, such as being overweight or having high cholesterol levels, increase one's chances of developing heart disease. If you're currently tree of heart disease and want to know whether you're at risk of developing the condition over the next few years, calculate your score on the American Heart Association's RISKO scale, below.

The scale, which is based on data gathered in the long-term Framingham Heart Study, is useful only as a predictor of short-term risk in healthy people. It doesn't take into account non-modifiable factors like heredity that are also known to contribute to one's risk. If you have any of the risk factors listed on the scale, your long-term risk of heart disease is higher than your score will reflect; this is also true if you're over 55, physically inactive, or have a family history of heart disease. If you're under 45, your risk of developing heart disease in the next few years is probably lower than your score might otherwise indicate.

It's important to note that your score isn't a permanent indicator of risk; each of these factors can be modified through lifestyle changes, such as exercise or weight loss, or through medication. If you are concerned about your score, talk to your doctor about ways in which you can reduce your risk, and call the American Heart Association (1-800-AHA-USA1) for more information.

CALCULATING YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE
SYSTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE
If you are not taking antihypertensives

Blood Pressure Points

<125 0
126-136 2
137-148 4
149-160 6
161-171 8
172-183 10
184-194 12
195-206 14
207-218 16
SERUM CHOLESTEROL
Legend for Chart:

A - TOTAL
B - HDL; 25
C - HDL; 30
D - HDL; 35
E - HDL; 40
F - HDL; 50
G - HDL; 60
H - HDL; 70
I - HDL; 80

A B C D E F G H I

140 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
160 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
180 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0
200 4 3 2 2 0 0 0 0
220 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0
240 5 4 3 3 1 0 0 0
260 5 4 4 3 2 1 0 0
280 5 5 4 4 3 2 1 0
300 6 5 4 4 3 2 1 0
340 6 5 5 4 3 2 1 0
400 6 6 5 5 4 3 2 2
SYSTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE
If you are taking antihypertensives

Blood Pressure Points

<117 0
118-123 2
124-129 4
130-136 6
137-144 8
145-154 10
155-168 12
SMOKING
Do not smoke 0
Smoke <1 pack/day 2
Smoke 1 pack/day 5
Smoke 2 or more packs/day 9
WEIGHT
points: A=0 B=1 C=2 D=4

Height A B C D

4'8" <139 140161 162-184 185+
4'9" < 140 141-162 163-185 186+
4'10" < 141 142-163 164-187 188+
4'11" < 143 144-166 167-190 191+
5'0" < 145 146-168 169-193 194+
5'1" < 147 148-171 172-196 197+
5'2" < 149 150-173 174-198 199+
5'3" < 152 153-176 177-201 202+
5'4" < 154 155-178 179-204 205+
5'5" < 157 158-182 183-209 210+
5'6" < 160 161-186 187-213 214+
5'7" < 165 66-191 192-219 220+
5'8" < 169 70-196 197-225 226+
5'9" < 173 74-201 202-231 232+
5'10" < 178 79-206 207-238 239+
5'11" < 182 83-212 213-242 243+
6'0" < 187 88-217 218-248 249+
6'1" < 191 92-222 223-254 255+
TOTAL SCORE Note: If you are diabetic, you have a greater risk of heart disease. Add 7 points to your total score.

0-2 Low risk for heart disease
3-4 Low to moderate risk
5-7 Moderate to high risk
8-15 High risk
16+ Very high risk

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