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Cardiovascular Risk Self-Assessment
You can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Start by becoming aware of your risk factors – the personal characteristics and habits that may increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Some you can’t change or control; some you can, by making a few changes in your diet, daily habits or taking medicine as prescribed.
The following factors may increase your risk. Check all boxes in the quiz that apply to you. Leave blank if you do not know the answers. If you indicate 3 or more YES, see a physician for a complete assessment of your risks!
1. Do you have a family history of early heart disease (Heart attack, angioplasty, coronary artery stenting or coronary bypass surgery)?
Yes if: Your father or brother had heart problems before age 55 or your mother or sister had heart problems before age 65
2. Do you have a family history of early stroke?
Yes if: Your father or brother had a stroke before age 55 or Your mother or sister had a stroke before age 65
3. Do you have a family history of other forms of CVD? Other CVD disorders include high blood pressure, Heart Failure, Sudden Death, Arrhythmia, Aortic aneurysms or “bad circulation” to the legs.
Yes if: A family member had heart disease or stroke older than age 55 for men and age 65 for women
4. Are you African-American?
Approximately 40% of African-American women have some form of CVD and may not know it.
5. Do you have high cholesterol or are you taking medicine to control it?
You should know your “ideal” cholesterol goal. The goal depends on what your other risk factors are and whether or not you have CVD now.
6. Do you have diabetes or are you taking medications to lower blood sugar?
Diabetes is a greater risk factor for CVD in women than men.
7. Do you have hypertension, high blood pressure or are you taking medicine to control it?
o Normal blood pressure = below 120/80
o Stage 1 Hypertension = between 130-140 OR 80-89
o Stage 2 Hypertension = above 140-159 OR 90-99
8. Do you smoke or are you exposed to second hand smoke every day?
9. Are you overweight or obese?
10. Are you over age 44 or have gone through menopause (natural or surgical)?
11. Do you exercise fewer than 3 days a week for less than 30 minutes each time?
12. Do you lead a high stress lifestyle?
13. Are you over age 35 and take birth control pills?
14. Do you have chronic kidney problems or receive dialysis?
15. Do you have metabolic syndrome? Metabolic syndrome is having at least 3 of the following:
a. High blood sugar after fasting (>100 mg/dl)
b. High triglycerides (>150 mg/dl)
c. Low “good cholesterol” or HDL (<45 mg/dl in women, < 40 men)
d. Blood pressure of 130/85 or higher
e. Waist measurement of 35 inches or more Men – 40 inches or more
16. Do you get < 30 minutes of physical activity on most days?
SCORING: Answering “Yes” to ANY question indicates that you have an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease. If you answered “Yes” to MORE THAN 3 of these questions, you are at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease and it is recommended that you consult your physician.
There are risk factors for CVD that you can have influence over.