Coronary heart disease (CHD) is very common in Ireland. Despite greater awareness of the
causes of CHD, it continues to be the number one killer of both men and women
in this country. Our calculator is based on the European Society of Cardiology Guidelines for 'high risk countries including Ireland'.
CHD occurs when
some of the vessels (arteries) that carry blood to the heart narrow - a condition
known as atherosclerosis. One of the main causes of atherosclerosis is high
levels of cholesterol, a fatty substance, in the blood. Cholesterol and fat,
circulating in the blood, become deposited on the wall of the arteries. The
build-up narrows the arteries causing the flow of blood to the heart to slow
or become blocked. The first sign of this may be angina - a tightness or pain
in the chest. A complete blockage of one of these arteries results in a heart
attack. In addition to high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking
also contribute to the development of CHD.
This short self-assessment
test can be used to estimate your risk of a fatal cardiovascular event in the next ten years. If you do not know your total cholesterol (mmol/l) or systolic blood
pressure (mmHg) levels an average will be used. Results are applicable only
for ages 40 years and over.