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Heart Disease Risk

Individual Heart Disease Risk

In 1948, a research study started with an ambitious goal of identifying the common factors or characteristics that contribute to cardiovascular disease by following its development over a long period of time in a large group of participants who had not yet developed symptoms of cardiovascular disease or suffered a heart attack or stroke. This study is known as the Framingham Heart Study. Through following people over a long period of time, this study has allowed us to predict what a person's heart disease risk is over a 10-year period. "Heart disease risk" is defined as the risk of developing one of the following:

Heart Disease Risk Calculators

Previously, doctors would use the Framingham Risk Calculator to estimate a person's risk for having a heart attack. This calculation used information from the Framingham Heart Study to predict a person's chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years. This tool was designed for adults aged 20 and older who do not have heart disease or diabetes.
However, in 2013, new guidelines suggested that the Framingham Risk Calculator should be replaced by a newer version, the "Pooled Cohort Equations" calculator, which includes more (and more recent) studies to calculate risk. In addition, the new calculator estimates the risk of heart disease or stroke, and there are two versions, based on race.
The new guidelines rely on nine key pieces of information:
For people 40 to 79 years of age, this calculator can estimate your 10-year risk for heart disease or stroke. The calculator will also estimate your lifetime risk for heart disease or stroke for all adults.
Your doctor will use your 10-year risk to determine if you should be treated with a statin and how "intense" your statin treatment should be. Some groups, such as people with LDLs of 190 mg/dL or more, should be on a statin, regardless of their 10-year risk.
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