The American Heart Association has put together an excellent on-line calculator of heart disease risk based on a large study (>5000 people) called the "Framingham Study." Click on THIS LINK to calculate your risk of heart disease.
However, please note that since this study came out (the study began in the 1940s!), a number of other important heart disease risk factors have become recognized and need to be considered:
- A family history of heart attack or heart failure
- Obesity and an inactive lifestyle
- Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), homocysteine, or Lipoprotein (a) levels
The good news is that there are many effective ways to treat risk factors BEFORE they lead to a heart attack or stroke. Treatment options need to be tailored to individuals based on their particular risks. Changes in diet and exercise make a much larger positive impact on cholesterol and blood pressure than many people imagine. Some soy protein and vitamins such as Omega-3 acids and Co-enzyme Q have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels naturally. For hard to treat hypertension and high cholesterol, modern day medications offer effective and safe options to help prevent heart attacks, stroke and circulatory problems.
Dr. Ludington will tailor therapy to YOUR individual needs based on a thorough assessment of risks and any symptoms you may have. Be sure to come prepared to your appointment with a complte list of your current medications (if any) and a list of questions you would like to ask the doctor. Education is an excellent defense against disease!