Start with 100, adding or subtracting points as you check each true statement, then total the numbers to see how your heart scores.
I have a family history of heart disease. (-5)
You can’t change your parents, but if you know you have an elevated risk for heart disease, you can pay closer attention to those things you can change.
____ I get my blood pressure checked at least every two years and my
cholesterol tested at least every four to six years. (+10)
Without these important tests, you won’t know whether you have two risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
___ I smoke. (-20)
If you smoke, your heart disease risk is two to four times that of a nonsmoker.
___ I fill half my plate with fruits and vegetables. (+10)
Following a nutritious diet will help you manage your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.
____ I have high cholesterol. (-10)
With higher cholesterol numbers comes higher heart disease risk. Total cholesterol should be less than 180 mg/dL.
____ I have high blood pressure. (-15)
High blood pressure, which makes the heart work harder, is a serious risk factor. Blood pressure should be 120/80 mmHg or lower.
___ I exercise for at least 150 minutes each week. (+10)
Regular exercise—even just walking—is key to keeping the heart healthy. Exercise is also a great tool for relieving stress and lowering blood pressure.
____ I consume more than one (for women) or two (for men) alcoholic
drinks per day. (-5)
Higher levels of alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure, which affects heart disease risk.
____ I’m overweight or obese. (-10, overweight; -20, obese)
If you’re carrying excess weight, your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes increases. Losing just 10 percent of your current weight can make a difference.
____ I have diabetes. (-15 if well-controlled; -25 if not)
If you have diabetes, your risk for heart disease or stroke is two to four times higher than for adults who don’t have diabetes. And the risks increase even further when blood sugar levels are not well controlled.
90 or higher: A. You’re doing a good job of keeping risk factors at bay and managing your health. Keep it up!
80–89: B. You’re managing your risk factors, but there’s room for improvement.
70–79: C. You’re getting by, but you’re letting a few things slip. It’s time to take a closer look at your risk factors and make some changes.
60–69: D. You’re in dangerous territory. It’s time to rethink several of your lifestyle habits.
59 and below. You’re running a high risk for heart disease. Talk to your doctor today about your heart-health concerns.