What’s Your Heart Disease Risk?

Take this quiz to determine your risk for CHD or heart attack. The answers will help you set LDL goals and let you know if you may need to start on a cholesterol-lowering drug.

Step 1

Count Your Risk Factors

If you don’t have known heart disease or diabetes, answer the following questions. lf you do, go directly to step 2 on the next page. (Not sure whether or not you have heart disease? If you’ve had a heart attack, a bypass operation, angioplasty, or an angiogram that showed a blockage in a coronary artery, or if you suffer from angina, you probably do.)

Check all that apply:

  • I smoke cigarettes.
  • I have high blood pressure (140/90 mm/Hg or higher, or you’re on blood pressure medication).
  • I have low HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dl).
  • I have a family history of early heart disease (heart disease in your father or brother before age 55, or in your mother or sister before age 65).
  • I’maman 45 or older, or a woman 55 or older,

if you checked one risk factor or none: Congratulations! You are in treatment category !ll—the lowest risk category (turn to see what this means). You can skip steps 2 and 3. If you checked two or more: 

Step 2

Calculate Your Heart Attack Risk

Take the appropriate quiz below (one each for men and women) and add up the points (the numbers in blue) to determine your risk of having a heart attack in the next 10 years.

Step 3

Identify Your Risk Category

Now, using the chart below, identify the category you fit. Your category helps determine your treatment approach (whether you will need cholestero!-lowering medication and how religiously you will need to follow the Live /t Down Plan). Generally, if you haven’t reached your cholesterol goal after three months of making lifestyle changes, your doctor will likely start you on medication. In some instances, depending on your risk factors and how high your LDL level is, you may need to start on medication even as you start the Plan. 

10-Year Risk Category Your LDL Goal Medication?
More than 20% I
Highest risk
Less than 100 mg/dl If your LDL is currently 100 to 129, you may need to start drug treatment even as you begin the Plan, with the goal of getting off the medication later. If your LDL is 130 or higher, you almost certainly will need medication.
10% to 20% II
Moderate risk
Less than 130 ma/dl If your LDL is 130 or more after three months on the Plan, you may also need drug treatment.
Less than 10% III
Lowest risk
Less than 160 mg/dl If your LDL is 160 or more after three months on the Plan, you may also need drug treatment.

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