What is a
Heart Risk Assessment?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Early detection matters for you and your loved ones.

Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease (CVD), is a universal term used to describe a range of disorders that impact the heart. A heart risk assessment includes tests and a health factor analysis that estimate someone’s chances of having a heart attack or a stroke within the next 5 years. Performing a risk assessment, the team at Optima Medical can indicate the degree of risk, including: borderline, intermediate or high-risk.

Because heart disease risk factors may go unnoticed, regular check-ups are important to prevent cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

During a heart risk assessment, the primary goal is to identify these risks early on, so that individuals can take steps to improve their heart health now and prevent potential problems in the future.

Heart Risk Assessment Factors

  • Age
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Smoking history
  • Family history
  • Blood pressure
  • Medical history

What to Expect When Getting a Heart Risk Assessment

  • Consultation: The process usually starts with a consultation, where the healthcare provider will ask a series of questions related to your health, your family’s health history and your lifestyle.


  • Physical Examination: Expect to have your blood pressure measured, and possibly your weight and height, if they haven’t been recently recorded.


  • Blood Draw: A blood sample may be taken to measure cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and other important markers.


  • Guidance and Recommendations: After the assessment, the healthcare provider will discuss the results with you and interpret any risk factors identified. The provider might suggest lifestyle changes, medical interventions, or further tests.


  • Follow-Up: Depending on your results, you might be advised to have regular check-ups, start a medication, or undertake a cardiac rehabilitation program.

Optima Medical Heart Risk Assessment

A heart risk assessment is an invaluable tool in proactive healthcare, allowing individuals to understand their risks and make informed decisions about their heart health. Whether you have a family history of heart disease, or you’re simply looking to take preventive measures, getting a heart risk assessment can provide clarity about your cardiovascular health and guide you towards a heart-healthy future. Remember, the earlier potential risks are identified, the better the outcomes in managing and preventing cardiovascular disease are.


Any Optima Medical location can provide the heart risk assessment using diagnostics such as:


  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Ultrasounds
  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI)
  • Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease risk score


Following an assessment, your care team at Optima Medical will be able to help provide medication optimization, including:


  • Statin drugs
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
  • Aspirin
  • Nitrates

Heart Risk Assessment FAQs

Q: What is the main purpose of a heart risk assessment?

A: The main purpose of a heart risk assessment is to determine an individual’s likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). It evaluates both modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors, allowing individuals and healthcare providers to identify potential threats to heart health and take preventive or corrective actions.


Q: How often should I get a heart risk assessment?

A: The frequency of heart risk assessments depends on several factors, including age, health status and family history. Generally, adults should consider getting an initial assessment in their early to mid-thirties and then periodically as recommended by their healthcare provider. Those with a family history of heart disease or other risk factors might need to start earlier and have assessments more frequently.

Q: Is the heart risk assessment painful or invasive?

A: Most components of a heart risk assessment, such as medical history review, physical examination, and blood tests, are non-invasive and cause minimal discomfort. Additional tests, like an ECG or stress test, are also typically non-invasive and are designed to be as painless as possible.

Q: Can I lower my heart disease risk after the assessment?

A: Absolutely! One of the primary benefits of a heart risk assessment is to highlight areas for improvement. If modifiable risk factors are identified, such as poor diet, lack of exercise or smoking, individuals can take steps to change these habits and thereby lower their risk. In some cases, medication or other medical interventions might also be recommended to manage the identified risks.

Q: Are there any risks associated with the heart risk assessment itself?

A: The basic heart risk assessment, which involves a review of medical history, physical examination and blood tests, has minimal risks. Always consult with your healthcare provider about any concerns. Your provider will provide guidance on the safety and necessity of each test.

Book an appointment now

Our team at Optima Medical is ready to help you start the process of a heart risk assessment in Phoenix. Find an Optima Medical location near you, and make an appointment.