A team of Ottawa researchers is making it easier for people to calculate their risk of heart disease and change their unhealthy habits with the launch of an easy-to-use online calculator.
The Cardiovascular Disease Population Risk Tool (CVDPoRT) allows users to determine their risk for hospitalization or death from cardiovascular disease within the next five years by answering questions about their lifestyle, such as their physical activity, their alcohol consumption, their diet, and if they smoke. Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada.
Dr. Doug Manuel, the research’s lead author and senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital, says the calculator is unique because it also takes into account less obvious factors, such as sociodemographic status, environmental influences, stress levels, education, sense of belonging, ethnicity, immigration status, and other health conditions, such as diabetes.
The Cardiovascular Disease Population Risk Tool is the latest addition to Project Big Life, an online collection of easy-to-use health calculators developed by researchers at the Ottawa Hospital. The calculators’ algorithms use Canadian health data in order to predict things such as life expectancy, daily sodium intake, heart attack and stroke risk, and healthcare costs.