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Topic Overview

    Your doctor may talk with you about your risk for heart and blood flow problems, including heart attack and stroke. You and your doctor can use your risk to decide whether you need to lower it and what treatment is best for you.

    What might you be at risk for?

    Your doctor is checking your risk of having a problem called atherosclerosis camera.gif, or hardening of the arteries. It is the starting point for most heart and blood flow problems. These include heart disease and peripheral arterial disease.

    Your doctor might talk to you about your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke in the next 10 years.

    How does your doctor check your risk?

    Your doctor looks at things that put you at risk for a heart attack and stroke. Your doctor might check:

    Calculators. Your doctor might use a tool to calculate a risk score for you. There are different tools that doctors use. These tools are not perfect. They may show that your risk is higher or lower than it really is. But these tools give you and your doctor a good idea about your risk.

    What do you do with your risk?

    Knowing your risk is just the starting point for you and your doctor. Knowing your risk can help you and your doctor talk about whether you need to lower your risk. Together, you can decide what treatment is best for you.

      This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

      WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

      Last Updated: March 12, 2014
      This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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