Do you know your heart disease risk level?
1. What’s your blood pressure?
a. Below 120/80 (0)
b. Between 120/80 and 140/90 (+1)
c. Above 140/90 (+3)
d. Don’t know (+1)
2. What’s your cholesterol?
a. HDL (“good cholesterol) above 50, LDL (“bad” cholesterol) below 130, triglycerides (fat levels in the blood) less that 150 (0)
b. Any of the following: HDL below 50, LDL above 130, triglycerides above 150 (+2)
c. Don’t know (+1)
3. How often do you eat fried foods?
a. Once a month (+1)
b. Several times a month (+2)
c. Never (0)
4. Does anyone in your family have heart disease?
a. Yes, my mother had problems before age 65, or my father before age 55 (+2)
b. No (0)
c. Don’t know (+1)
5. On a typical weekend night, you:
a. Have one glass of wine or beer (+1)
b. Have more than one glass of alcohol (+2)
c. Skip the alcohol (0)
6. How many cigarettes have you smoked this week?
a. None (0)
b. Just a few (+3)
c. Half a pack or more each day (+8)
7. How many colors were in your last meal?
a. 1 – for example, chicken and rice (+2)
b. 2 to 4 – some vegetables (+1)
c. 4 or more – for example, a salad and some vegetables (0)
8. How do you feel after climbing three flights of stairs?
a. Fine or even energized (0)
b. Winded (+1)
c. Who knows? I never climb stairs (+2)
What’s your body mass index (BMI)?
a. 18.5 to 24.9 (0)
b. 25 to 29.9 (+1)
c. 30 or above (+2)
(to find out your BMI, visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm)
0-2: You are on the right track to preventing heart disease. Exercise, eating right and avoiding cigarettes can help prevent 80 percent of heart disease.
3-7: One or two harmful habits can increase your chances of developing heart disease. Simply knowing your risk factors is also important to reducing your risk, especially if you need to reduce your cholesterol or blood pressure.
8 or higher: Get to the doctor! Make the commitment to one healthy behavior change, such as exercising or quitting smoking.