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Interactive Tool: How Does Smoking Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack


What does this tool measure?

Interactive health icon

This interactive tool measures how smoking—independent of other risk factors—affects your chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years. The tool calculates your risk from the values you enter. The information for this tool is based on the Framingham Heart Study. Since 1948 the Framingham Heart Study has studied the progression of heart disease and the risk factors of heart disease. The data from this study has been used to make a risk assessment. This risk assessment was created by the U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The values you enter include your age and gender. The tool uses a systolic blood pressure of 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), an HDL cholesterol measurement of 55 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), and a total cholesterol measurement of 200 mg/dL to calculate your risk based on smoking alone.

Smoking does have a negative effect on both cholesterol and blood pressure. So if you smoke and also have other risk factors for heart disease, your risk may be higher than this tool says it is.

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