– LG Health recently introduced a new Internet tool to help patients learn more about their risk for coronary artery disease based on their heart age. The LG Health Heart Health Profiler, www.LGHealth.org/heartage
, takes patients through a series of questions to assess their personal heart disease risk.
"This risk assessment is an easy, interactive tool to help patients learn about heart disease risk factors and practical ways to improve their health," commented Lori Good, RN, Wellness Educator. The goal is to increase awareness of the risk factors related to heart disease, assist patients in identifying their own risks, and encourage communication between patient and physician. That's why the report suggests patients take the results to their family doctor to ask for guidance and next steps.
Patients are asked to enter data such as family history, LDL and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, diastolic and systolic blood pressure, weight, etc. If the participant does not have the data immediately available, he or she can go back and fill it in later. The resulting report provides the patient with a heart age, indicating the risk factors that are fixed and also those that can be changed through healthy lifestyle choices.
The heart age result is based on data from the 2008 Framingham Heart Study, a landmark study in heart disease risk reduction. Participants can quickly compare their chronological age with their heart age and come up with a "good" or "bad" result. Recommendations on activity level, weight and other best treatment practices are included in the assessment results and are up-to-date with current ACC guidelines.
"LG Health has previously provided an assessment as a paper tool," added Good. "Although hard copy tools are still available, we know patients are increasingly going online to research medical issues on their own. The online tool will increase accessibility and exposure for this important, life-saving information.