The Healthy Heart Score
| An online tool assesses your cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have devised a new online tool, the
Healthy Heart Score, for individuals to estimate their risk of developing cardiovascular
diseases through lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet.
The model was developed using health data from 61,025 women in the Nurses' Health
Study and 34,478 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, who were free of
chronic disease in 1986 and followed for 24 years. During the study period, there were
3,775 cases of CVD (including nonfatal myocardial infarction, fatal coronary heart
disease and ischemic stroke) in women and 3,506 cases in men.
The Healthy Heart Score is based on the nine most critical diet and lifestyle factors that
can influence a person’s risk of developing CVD in the next 20 years. The calculator
walks users through a series of easy-to-follow questions about their lifestyle, such as
“Do you smoke cigarettes?” and “During the past year, how often, on average, do you
eat a serving of fruit?” Users receive a risk score of low (green), moderate (yellow), or
high (red), and a printable assessment with tips for improvement such as, “Instead of
sliced deli turkey or chicken in sandwiches, try rotisserie chicken or roasted turkey,” and
“Try a variety of nuts, including almonds, pistachios and cashews.”
“This tool represents the first time that data from large-scale, well-conducted studies
were used to develop an easy-to-use CVD prevention tool,” said Eric Rimm, professor
of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH and senior author of the study.
The study was published online Nov. 14 in the Journal of the American Heart
Association. The tool proved so popular immediately after its publication HSPH officials
said there were intermittent delays in accessing it.
Go to the Healthy Heart Score Calculator
Note: If the link above fails, you can locate the calculator by Googling the search
"healthy heart calculator Harvard edu."