New Online Tool Allows Users to Calculate Risk of Heart Attack


A new online calculator tool developed by Ottawa researchers will be able to tell if the user may sustain a heart attack or stroke in the next five years. Published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the calculator allows people to accurately see if they risk complications or death cause by cardiovascular disease.  If the calculator shows that a person’s risk level is 5%, it would mean that 5 out of 100 people will suffer a severe cardiovascular event in the next 5 years.

The aim of the tool is to encourage people to take better care of them in the hope that it will reduce the number of incidents related to heart attack and stroke in the country. Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading death causes in Canada. While blood pressure and cholesterol levels have been used before in order to calculate the possible risk level, the calculator bases the results upon healthy living choices.

Data was collected from order 100000 Canadians, allowing for the inclusion of multiple factors such as diet, physical activity, alcohol and salt level and smoking impact. The calculator also considers social factors such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, how educated is the person, whether he or she is an immigrant and how other diseases such as diabetes may influence the risk.  The result is a measure of the heart’s ‘’age’’.

While many people do tend to live a healthy life, they seem to often avoid medical check-ups that could prevent a lot of future complications. On the opposite, many people who go to the doctor have their blood checked among other things but are never ask if they live a healthy lifestyle or how would such a choice affect them.

It is hoped that the calculator will inspire users to live a better life and take the necessary steps in order to protect themselves from cardiac disease.


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