Want to Predict Your Heart Risk with a Web-Based Calculator?

February 16, 2010

Now if you are too busy to go to the doctor, or tend to avoid them until the last possible minute, a new research tool could be just the thing for you. Cardiff University Medical School has developed an Internet site where you can assess their future risk of having heart disease.

I am all in favour of being proactive and having information is the first step in any process to make changes. Heart disease is the biggest killer in the UK and still many of people do not know they are at risk, but by taking part in this research project you help expand the database of knowledge on heart disease, and you get a free assessment to know where you stand.

They are looking for volunteers aged between 45 and 64 who have not been previously diagnosed with heart disease, had a cardiac event (such as a heart attack or angina) or a stroke. I took the online survey and it is a model of an easy to use site and it doesn’t take long. They will even send you a copy of your results if you want to take them to your doctor, but remember they are a guide to whether you are at risk over the next ten years, not a definitive diagnosis, and hopefully a spur to taking action.

You are not only helping the researchers but for every volunteer who visits the website and completes the study, £1 will be donated to the British Heart Foundation so just go to www.myheartrisk.co.uk to check yourself out.

PS – if you are suffering from angina, also have a look at the item on prostate cancer and nitroglycerin.

Health Bite:

Now if you are feeling guilty over that large box of chocolates you got for Valentine’s Day, and which disappeared faster than you like to admit to – or is that just me – then here’s some good news. Eating chocolate may lower your risk of having a stroke, and lower the risk of death after one, according to an analysis of available research presented at a recent American Academy of Neurology meeting in Toronto.

They hedge their bets by calling for more research, which probably means eating more chocolate and conclude that they are not sure ” whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others”. Well I am healthy and I eat chocolate so I think should volunteer, and if you want facts to back up your chocoholism then remember that it is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have a protective effect against stroke, and their research showed that those who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22 percent less likely to have a stroke than people who ate no chocolate and those who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week were 46 percent less likely to die following a stroke than people who did not eat chocolate.

One study found no link between eating chocolate and risk of stroke or death so go forth and consume with a clear conscience, though remembering that chocolate is also rather high in fat, so that 50 grams a week is probably a good (though stingy) guide.


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