Skip to Content

Health Library

Interactive Tool: How Does Smoking Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack?

What does this tool help you learn?

This tool helps you find out how smoking affects your chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years. The information for this tool is based on the Framingham Heart Study. Since 1948 the Framingham Heart Study has studied the progression of heart disease and the risk factors of heart disease.

If you smoke and also have other risk factors for heart disease, your risk may be higher than this tool says it is.

What does your score mean?

Your score will appear in values from 1% to 99%. If your score is Nonsmoker: 2% and Smoker: 6%, it means that for your age and gender 2 out of 100 nonsmokers compared with 6 out of 100 smokers will have a heart attack in the next 10 years. In this example, smokers are 3 times more likely than nonsmokers to have a heart attack in the next 10 years.

What's next?

If you are concerned about your score, talk to your doctor about lowering your risk for a heart attack. Quitting smoking may be the most important step you can take to reduce your risk of heart disease. According to the World Health Organization, the risk of coronary artery disease decreases by 50% in the first year after quitting. You can start lowering your risk right away by quitting smoking.

To learn more, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

This information was adapted from the National Cholesterol Education Program and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). Risk Assessment tool for estimating your 10-year risk of having a heart attack. Available online: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/atpiii/calculator.asp.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Grundy SM, et al. (2001). Executive summary of the third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). JAMA, 285(19): 2486–2497.
  • Grundy SM, et al. (2004). Implications of recent clinical trials of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III Guidelines. Circulation, 110(2): 227–239. [Erratum in Circulation, 110(6): 763.]
  • National Cholesterol Education Program and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004). Risk Assessment tool for estimating your 10-year risk of having a heart attack. Available online: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/atpiii/calculator.asp.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010). A Report of the Surgeon General: How tobacco smoke causes disease: The biology and behavioral basis for smoking-attributable disease. Available online: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/tobaccosmoke/report/full_report.pdf.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
Last Revised May 20, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.