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Assessing Your Risk For Heart Disease

April 25, 2013

blood pressureCardioSmart.org, an online initiative of the American College of Cardiology, offers a Heart Disease Risk Assessment tool that can help people who are 20 or older who do not have heart disease or diabetes gauge their "risk of suffering a heart attack or dying due to coronary disease." 

The assessment tool asks for information on a person's cholesterol and blood pressure, so it is necessary to have this information handy before filling out the webpage.

You may be wondering why people who don't have heart disease would want to use an online tool such as this…well, it is important to know if you are at risk for heart disease and to take steps to lower that risk. Anyone can decide to use the tool on his or her own. However, we would also encourage parents and grandparents to send a link for the webpage to their adult children. If your child says he or she does not know their blood pressure or cholesterol numbers, encourage him or her to visit a doctor to get this information. There is a good chance your child, grandchild or other relative may not want to be bothered but stress the importance of how knowing where you stand health-wise early in life will allow you to make any necessary changes before it is too late.

This would be good advice for anyone, but it is especially important if your family has a history of heart disease. The American Heart Association says, "Just because your family has a history of cardiovascular disease, does not mean that you will certainly have the same diseases, it just means that you are more likely to have them. Disease is not imminent, and your health can be controlled by making lifestyle changes…."

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