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Assess Your Heart Disease Risk

It is important to know how to assess your own risk for heart disease. Today the tools are present for you to accurately estimate your own risk of getting heart disease, without waiting for the doctor to initiate the action. To assess your own risk you need to gather the following information

  • whether you smoke or not
  • your cholesterol levels
  • your blood pressure
  • whether you have any evidence of metabolic syndrome or diabetes
  • whether you are overweight
  • whether close relatives has had heart disease

With the above information, you can place yourself into one of three categories: low, intermediate, or high.

You will be in the low risk category if

  • you are a nonsmoker
  • your total cholesterol is lower than 200 mg/dL and HDL cholesterol is higher than 40 mg/dL
  • Your systolic BP is lower than 120, diastolic BP is lower than 80
  • You have no evidence of diabetes
  • You are not overweight
  • You have no family history

You will be in the high- risk category if you have

  • known vascular and coronary artery disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • over age 65

You are in the intermediate risk group if you don't fit into either the low or high risk groups. If you are at low risk, you do not need any special medical interventions to reduce your risk whereas if you are in the high risk category, a checkup is necessary and appropriate treatment and a change in lifestyle will help reducing heart attack and even death.