Interactive Tool: How Does Smoking Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack?

What does this tool measure?

Interactive Tool: How Does Smoking Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack?

Click here to find out how much smoking increases your heart attack risk.

This interactive tool measures how smoking—independent of other risk factors—affects your chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years. The tool calculates your risk from the values you enter. The information for this tool is based on the Framingham Heart Study. Since 1948 the Framingham Heart Study has studied the progression of heart disease and the risk factors of heart disease. The data from this study has been used to make a risk assessment. This risk assessment was created by the U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The values you enter include your age and gender. The tool uses a systolic blood pressure of 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), an HDL cholesterol measurement of 55 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), and a total cholesterol measurement of 200 mg/dL to calculate your risk based on smoking alone.

Smoking does have a negative effect on both cholesterol and blood pressure. So if you smoke and also have other risk factors for heart disease, your risk may be higher than this tool says it is.

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Interactive tools help people determine health risks, ideal weight, target heart rate, and more. Interactive tools are designed to help people determine health risks, ideal weight, target heart rate, and more.
  Smoking and risk of heart attack

What does your score mean?

Your score will appear in values from 1% to 99%. If your score is Nonsmoker: 2% and Smoker: 6%, it means that for your age and gender 2 out of 100 nonsmokers compared with 6 out of 100 smokers will have a heart attack in the next 10 years. In this example, smokers are 3 times more likely than nonsmokers to have a heart attack in the next 10 years.

What's next?

If you are concerned about your score, talk to your doctor about lowering your risk for a heart attack. Quitting smoking may be the most important step you can take to reduce your risk of heart disease. According to the World Health Organization, the risk of coronary artery disease decreases by 50% in the first year after quitting. To learn more, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

This information was adapted from the National Cholesterol Education Program and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). Risk Assessment tool for estimating your 10-year risk of having a heart attack. Available online: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/atpiii/calculator.asp.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Grundy SM, et al. (2001). 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). JAMA, 285(19): 2486–2497.
  • Grundy SM, et al. (2004). Implications of recent clinical trials of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III Guidelines. Circulation, 110(2): 227–239. [Erratum in Circulation, 110(6): 763.]

Credits

Author Robin Parks, MS
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
Last Updated October 21, 2008

Last Updated: October 21, 2008

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