Risk Calculation

Risk Calculation

The Framingham Heart Study has been recognized as one of the landmark achievements in science in the 20th century. It was the first long-term epidemiologic (the science that deals with the incidence, distribution and control of disease) study of its kind, designed originally to determine what factors were related to the epidemic of coronary heart disease (CHD). The Framingham Heart Study first identified the associations between classic risk factors, such as smoking, cholesterol and hypertension, and coronary heart disease or stroke.

The Framingham Risk Score

One of the most useful and important contributions of the Framingham Heart Study has been the development of a "risk score" for predicting the likelihood that an individual will develop CHD in the next 10 years. Using levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as information regarding age, diabetes status and smoking status, physicians can predict the absolute risk for developing a heart attack or of dying from heart disease in the next 10 years.

The National Cholesterol Education Panel's most recent recommendations define risk factors as follows:

  • High risk: A 10-year predicted risk of >20 percent
  • Intermediate risk: A predicted risk of 10 percent to 20 percent
  • Low risk: A predicted risk of <10 percent

All patients with diabetes and anyone who has already had a myocardial infarction (or heart attack) are considered to be at high risk and in need of intensive cholesterol-lowering therapy.

Northwestern Medicine coronary heart disease prevention iceberg pyramid

It is crucial for you to understand the major risk factors and the role they play in increasing your risk for coronary heart disease. Know your cholesterol and blood pressure levels and discuss with your physician how to assess and reduce your risk of heart disease. For a calculation of your Framingham 10–year Risk Score, consult your physician.

Six niche centers within the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, please call 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:

Referring Physicians
Open communication and cooperation with referring physicians is a critical component of achieving high-quality care and minimizing the challenges that come with treating cardiovascular conditions. For physician-to-physician consultation regarding the best patient care, please contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).

Six niche centers within the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, please call 847.53.HEART (534.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:

Six niche centers within the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital or Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, please call 630.232.0280

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:

Related Resources

Risk Factors for Heart Disease: Find out what chronic conditions can increase your risk factors for developing heart disease.