Heart Risk Assessment

Preventing Heart Disease

An individual's risk of a heart attack gradually increases as he or she gets older. Also, the older a person is, the more likely the heart attack will be fatal. According to the American Heart Association, four out of five people who die of a heart attack are over the age of 65.


Men are at higher risk for heart disease at an earlier age than women. The risk of a heart attack begins to increase more rapidly when a man reaches age 45. His risk goes up steadily as he gets older.


A woman's risk of heart attack begins to increase when she reaches age 55. The hormone estrogen is protective to the heart, so when a woman reaches menopause and her estrogen production reduces, she is more susceptible to heart disease. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause is protective against heart disease. If you are approaching or have reached menopause, discuss HRT with your physician.

Preventing Heart Disease

Aging is a risk factor for heart disease that cannot be controlled. If you are getting older, it simply means you need to be even more careful to reduce any other risk factors for heart disease you may have. Risk factors for heart disease that can be controlled include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, being sedentary, being overweight or obese, and having diabetes.

Steps You Can Take Today:
  • If you haven't already done so, find out if you have any controllable risk factors for heart disease by taking this quick quiz.
  • Where appropriate, follow the guidelines in this program to reduce -- and eliminate -- any controllable risk factors you have.

Despite your age, your overall risk for heart disease will improve once you eliminate any controllable risk factors you have for heart disease.

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