In this internet age of instant access to information, sometimes it’s hard to know if you found the right medical information that you need. Most of the time, what we are looking for is information - simple, straight-forward answers to our questions. Often, we get more information than a lay person can quickly process. When it comes to heart health, the American Heart Association (AHA) has taken the lead in putting together multiple tools to help you assess your heart health. One of the AHA tools it The Heart Profiler.
The Heart Profiler is an online questionnaire which provides the user with unique customized results based on the responses received. Five major conditions linked to heart disease are available for exploration on The Heart Profiler: atrial fibrillation, cholesterol, coronary artery disease, heart failure and high blood pressure. The user may explore all conditions or pick and choose which conditions are of interest. All information on The Heart Profiler has been developed and reviewed by AHA cardiologists and leaders in the health community. The information is up to date so that you can make better, more fully informed heart health decisions.
The Heart Profiler website indicates that questionnaire takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. I chose to explore the Cholesterol section of The Heart Profiler and it took me 15 minutes. The questionnaire itself consisted of several sections including:
ABOUT CHOLESTEROL: This section covered general information about cholesterol (i.e. What is cholesterol? What are the dangers and risks? How is it measured? What’s normal?). This section also covered general questions about your individual cholesterol levels.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: This section gathers information about the user such as age, gender, ethnicity and pre- or post menopausal status.
MEDICAL HISTORY: This section gathers general information about your health factors that might impact heart health such as whether or not you have diabetes, kidney, liver or thyroid problems, high fasting blood sugars and what medications, if any, you take for these conditions.