Sure, you try to take care of yourself, but your heart might still be older than you think.

That’s because some risk factors – such as age, gender, family history and race – just can’t be changed. Add on high blood pressure, diabetes or a few extra pounds, and your heart begins to show its age.

You can measure your heart’s age – and your overall heart health – by using Rapides Regional Heart Hospital’s free online heart health assessment at

The Heart Health Profiler calculates your risk for cardiovascular disease based on your answers to questions related to smoking, stress, family history, diabetes, previous heart health and medications. The test takes just a few minutes to complete.

At the end of the online test, patients can either print or save the 8-page, detailed report to bring to their next doctor’s appointment.

“In the United States, cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death,” said Theresa Hood, RNC, BSN, MS, Rapides Regional Medical Center’s director of education. “And most of those who die have no previous symptoms. This Heart Health Profiler lets you get an idea of how your risk factors measure up – and open that door of communication between you and your physician.

“Increasing your risk awareness is an important step toward better health, because what you don’t know can hurt you.”

The report explains what you should do to improve your risk factors – and tells you what you can do to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

And what better time to take this online assessment than now?

“February is heart month,” Hood said. “It’s the perfect time of year to make sure your heart is healthy and to do your part in guaranteeing that you will be able to spend many more years with the ones you love.”

That’s why our Heart Health Profiler also allows you to share a link with your family members or friends via Twitter or Facebook, so they can test their heart health, too!

To take the free heart health assessment, visit, and look for the Heart Health Profiler under “Online Tools” – or find us on Facebook and follow the link.

Remember, too, that cardiovascular disease doesn’t adhere to specific age limits. Approximately 30 percent of heart attack victims are between the ages of 29 and 64. So no matter how young you are, it’s important to monitor – and control – your cardiovascular risk factors. 

tags: heart care