The Framingham Risk Calculator is an important cardiac tool, used to determine the risk of developing heart disease.
Framingham Risk Score
The Framingham Risk Score is used to determine the 10-year risk for developing cardiovascular disease. The formula is based on the Framingham Heart Study. The formula uses age, gender, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and blood pressure. In addition, whether or not an individual smokes is taken into consideration. The Framingham Risk Calculator uses these factors to determine the risk score.
The list of risk factors used by the Framingham Risk Calculator to determine the risk score for developing cardiovascular disease.
The age of an individual is the largest determining factor for the risk of developing heart disease. As we age, arteriosclerosis is more likely to develop. It is a common cause of heart disease. Arteriosclerosis is the stiffening or hardening of arteries. This often causes high blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure is a risk factor that increases the chance of developing atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque inside the arteries.
The Framingham Risk Calculator uses total cholesterol as one of the determining factors for increased risk of heart disease. It is a significant factor in the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. A total cholesterol reading of over 160 mg/dL increases the risk of heart disease.
Also known as the “Good Cholesterol”, HDL cholesterol is used to help determine the risk for cardiovascular disease. A reading of 60 mg/dL or higher will lower the risk score
Systolic Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is an important risk factor. Framingham Risk Calculator uses systolic blood pressure in the formula to determine the risk of heart disease. The systolic number is the higher of the 2 numbers. A blood pressure reading of 135/80 has a systolic pressure of 135 mm Hg.
Taking Blood Pressure Medication
The Framingham Heart Study has concluded that taking blood pressure medication does not completely mitigate the risk of heart disease caused by having high blood pressure.
Smoking is a significant modifiable risk factor. According to the Framingham Heart Study, the risk of heart disease is greater for younger individuals.
What To Do If Your Risk Score Is High
Start by seeing your doctor. Some risk factors can be modified. By changing your lifestyle, you will make a big difference. You can also take an online CPR course to learn more about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Use the Risk Calculator to see if you need to make changes in your lifestyle.