Martha Jefferson Healthwise: Heart Risk Profiler

May 22, 2013

Are you eating a healthy diet? Are you exercising enough? Do you have a family history of heart disease? The way you answer those questions could impact your health.

In this week's Martha Jefferson's Healthwise report, you'll find out how to check your heart's health and whether your heart's age compares to your biological age.

You probably know old how you are, but have you ever thought about your heart's age? Depending on your family history and how well you take care of yourself, the two could be different.

Now Martha Jefferson Hospital is encouraging people to find out using the Heart Risk Profiler online.

"It's a way of calculating using statistical analysis a patient's risk of developing a future heart attack," said Dr. Tim Williams Cardiovascular Associates of Charlottesville

Dr. Williams says the program is quick and easy to use. All patients have to do is answer a few questions.

"There are lots of questions you would expect would be on the Heart Risk Profiler such as your age, your weight, if you've smoked, how much physical activity you get, your gender and other more specific things you can add if you have access to the information such as blood pressure, your resting glucose and other laboratory values such as your cholesterol," said Dr. Williams.

Based on your responses, the Heart Risk Profiler will determine if you are at low, moderate or high risk for having cardiovascular disease.

"So if you're 40, saying you have the body of a 55-year-old is a little more motivating than saying your risk of a heart attack is 3.2%. It's just a way of understanding things and putting them in a different light," said Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams says knowing you're heart's age is important.

"If you know your risk ahead of time you can make changes," said Dr. Williams.

With the click of a mouse, the Heart Risk Profiler can help you get information about your heart that could help to save your life.

Dr. Williams says eating a healthy diet and exercising are the best ways to achieve a healthy heart.

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