The term “cardiovascular disease risk”, or CVD risk, refers to your chance of having a heart attack or a stroke.
Everyone has some level of risk.
And there are CVD risk screening tools that predict your chance of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years.
In Alberta, CVD risk screening can be ordered by your doctor using a standard lab requisition form.
The CVD screening tool is called the Framingham Risk Score.
Your doctor will complete 7 questions on the lab requisition form for you.
They will measure and record your blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk.
They will record if you’re being treated for high blood pressure.
They will ask if you use tobacco. Tobacco use increases your risk.
They will ask about your family history of CVD, specifically if you have a close male relative with CVD before age 55, or a close female relative with CVD before age 65.
They will also record if you have diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or atherosclerosis. These conditions put you at higher risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Next, you’ll go to a lab to have your blood taken so they can measure your cholesterol levels.
The lab uses all this information to calculate your risk score.
The risk score is a percent chance you will have a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years.
Your risk will be categorized as high, intermediate, or low.
Your CVD risk results will be sent to your doctor and to your MyHealth Records account.
Once you have your results, you can then talk to your doctor about the best way to lower your CVD risk and avoid having a heart attack or stroke.