Did you know there are quick, easy-to-use, online calculators that will tell you how likely you are to have a heart attack in the next 10 years?
There are several, in fact. Most of these online risk calculators are based on the Framingham risk score, which assesses heart disease risk in the next 10 years based on six pieces of information: age, sex, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, smoking status and systolic blood pressure.
The Reynolds risk score goes beyond the Framingham risk score. In addition to all the factors required by the Framingham risk score, the Reynolds risk score asks for C-reactive protein test results (which are not included in a typical lipid panel) and whether a parent had a heart attack before age 60.
While these online calculators are certainly not the be all and end all, they can be very handy in discussing with your doctor whether (and how long) you can manage high cholesterol without turning to statin Rx medication. You can read about how these heart disease risk calculators work and where to find them online in my recently published article on Answers.com: Calculating Heart Disease Risk.
And you can find a link to the American Heart Association’s Risk Calculator – born when the 2013 guidelines debuted – on my RESOURCES page.