Is my risk good or bad?

 In Cardiology

The Framingham or Q risk calculator will tell you your chances of having a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) and you will be compared to someone your age.

If you are at >10% risk of having a cardiovascular event over the next 10 years the government is happy for you to have a statin to lower the risk . They are even more happy if you exercise, eat healthily and don’t smoke! You can discuss statin treatment with your doctor (see comments on statins) and have some soul searching about your lack of fitness or otherwise!

As can be seen by the Framingham tables above if you are over 60 and a male you will have a risk of a cardiovascular event of greater than 10% in the next 10 years – the current treatment threshold for considering starting statins. If you are a male over 60 you may wish to consider whether you want a statin before visiting your GP next time.

A final note. The Q risk tables incorporate your post code in your overall assessment of risk. It may seem illogical that your chances of having heart disease are assessed as more or less depending if you live in one area compared to another. To a large extent this reflects poor lifestyle choices in one area compared to another. When I was in Glasgow I came to realise that the Glaswegians life expectancy was 4 years less than someone living in Edinburgh. I initially thought this maybe a reflection of the fried mars bars supplied in the fish and chip shops in Glasgow. It was probably due to the higher alcoholism/ drug abuse/ poverty rates in Glasgow. Some have argued the hardness of water or other environmental factors may be the relevant factor. Personally I do not believe that changing your post code per se is a modifiable risk factor for heart disease. So don’t move upmarket to help your heart!

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