Assessing your risk of cardiovascular disease

man getting blood pressure taken

Cardiovascular screening can help to identify any risk factors you may have

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening is offered at most GP surgeries / clinics. The aim is to identify and address any specific cardiovascular risk factors found in 'well' individuals.

This means that treatment and / or lifestyle changes can begin as soon as possible and hopefully prevent cardiovascular problems from happening later on. More complex situations may need referral to specialist services.

Cardiovascular risk assessment

You should have an assessment of your CVD risk at least every 5 years if:

  • You are 40 years old or above
  • You have a close relative (parent, brother, sister or child) who has had heart disease and / or stroke illness before the age of 65 (women) or 55 (men) or has a genetic cholesterol problem (called familial dyslipidaemia)

Sometimes a risk assessment tool is used to work out your CVD risk. Various findings such as blood pressurecholesterolweightsmoking and diabetes may be looked at.

These findings can be used to show your risk as a percentage. e.g. 10% CVD risk means that there is a 1 in 10 chance of experiencing heart disease or stroke in the next ten years. Your doctor can then recommend possible treatment, or lifestyle management, if necessary.