Calculate Your Risk of Heart Attack


In general, the higher your cholesterol level and the more risk factors you have, the higher your risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Certain risk factors, such as diabetes, also put people at high risk. If you already have heart disease, then you're at high risk for having a heart attack.

Determine your risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack and find out what your cholesterol goal shouldbe. Answer the following questions and click the Calculate button. If you don't know the answers to any of these questions, discuss them with your doctor.

Do you have heart disease (ie, a history of heart attack, chest pain, angina, or stroke)?
Do you have diabetes?
Do you have a family history of early heart disease (in father or brother <55 or in mother or sister <65)?
What is your gender?
What is your age?
What is your total cholesterol (mg/dL)?
What is your HDL ("good") cholesterol (mg/dL)?
Have you smoked cigarettes in the past month?
What is your systolic blood pressure?
Are you taking medication to treat high blood pressure?

We have calculated your 10-year risk score to be .
This means that out of 100 people with your risk factors will develop heart disease or have a heart attack within 10 years.*
That puts you in the category
with an LDL cholesterol goal (LDL-C) of   (see chart below)

If You Have You Are in Risk Category LDL-C Goal (mg/dl)
Heart disease, diabetes, or risk score of more than 20% I. Highest Risk <100
2 or more risk factors and risk score of 10%-20% II. Higher Risk <130
2 or more risk factors and risk score of less than 10% III. Moderate Risk <130
0 or 1 risk factor IV. Low to Moderate Risk <160

Your doctor or healthcare professional can give you a more detailed explanation — and personal recommendation — about what your cholesterol numbers should be. But the most important thing to do at this point is to take action. The next section discusses ways to help you do just that.

*NCEP Expert Panel. Executive Summary of the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). Bethesda, md: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health; 2001. NIH Publication 01-3670.

Reference Source 55