You’ve probably heard of calculations that determine your “fitness age,” or you’ve heard doctors indirectly reference your relative health age—“You have the lungs of a man half your age!”—but what about your heart health?
A new online calculator developed by the Joint British Societies (JBS) aims to help people determine their odds of having a heart attack, as well as when they might be most susceptible. While there have been similar calculators in the past, this new one takes into account short and long-term risks, which could enable the kind of awareness that leads people to make positive changes in their health.
The new calculator could also help doctors better assess courses of treatment. By having a more extensive picture of a patient’s heart health, they can identify who needs to be more closely monitored, who might need medication, and who needs to make immediate lifestyle changes.
In addition to the risk calculator, the study also made several recommendations for preventing cardiovascular disease. Most of them will look familiar: get enough exercise, eat properly, maintain a healthy weight and don’t smoke. However, by looking at long-term risk factors, the hope for more prevention is high. Plenty of patients who don’t test high for 10-year risk factors do have long-term risks that are worth recognizing.
How to Access the Calculator
While you should always make it a point to talk to your doctor about your heart health risks, you can find the new JBS calculator by clicking here. You’ll need to know certain information like your height, weight and systolic blood pressure to get your results.
Again, regardless of what the calculator tells you, maintaining regular check-ups with your doctor and discussing your risk factors are the most important things you can do for your heart health. While it’s great to use all types of tools for determining your heart health, there’s no substitute for a strong relationship with your doctor.
Do you want to have a better relationship with your cardiologist to make sure your heart stays healthy? Check out this video to learn how to build a relationship based on trust, compassion and communication.