Self-test for heart attack risk: The lifestyle

Every year, 250,000 people in Germany suffer a heart attack. Often it is an unhealthy lifestyle with too little exercise and too fatty food, which increases the risk of heart attack. Take the self-test and find out how big your heart attack risk is.

Smoking weakens the heart

Smoking is one of the major causes of atherosclerosis, popularly called arteriosclerosis. The more you smoke, the more inflexible the vessels become and the higher your heart attack risk. Hence the question: Do you smoke? No (0 pts) and if yes more (5 pts) or less (3 pts) than 20 cigarettes a day?


Obesity is one of the factors of the deadly quartet (Metabolic Syndrome). As a rule, obesity is determined by the body mass index (BMI). This may contain some mistakes, but is a good indication of possible overweight. The BMI, ie the ratio of weight to height, should be between 18.5 and 25 here.

BMI formula: BMI = weight / height (in meters) ²

Is your BMI below 25 (0 pts) between 25 and 30 (2 pts), over 30 (3 pts), over 35 (4 pts) or even over 40 (5 pts)?


Diet is an important factor in the development of heart attacks. On the one hand makes a wrong diet thick, on the other hand, one can keep the vessels supple with healthy oils and thereby reduce the risk of heart attack. Do you eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, lettuce and wholegrain every day and fish twice a week? Do this always (0 pts), often (1 pts) or almost never (3 pts)?

In contrast, bad fats make the vessels solidify. The unhealthy fats are often found in meat and sausages or in fried foods. Sweet things also increase the heart attack risk. Do you eat red and processed meat, fried food, sweets, cream and dessert? Do you eat this daily (3 pts), often (2 pts) or rather not (0 pts)?


Exercise makes your heart healthy. Who drives a lot of sports, at least half an hour at a stretch, strengthens his heart and decreases rather. Do you practice sports several times a week (0 pts), once a month (2 pts) or almost never (4 pts)?


Stress involves several factors that endanger the heart. On the one hand, stress increases the blood pressure and speeds up the heartbeat. In addition, certain hormones are released, which constantly keep the body on alert. All these factors are troubling the heart. Not to mention psychological problems that can also be heartbreaking. So ask yourself if you are under stress at work or in your private life. No (0 pts)? Occasionally (1 point)? Frequently (3 pts)? Practically lasting (5 pts)?

Genetic disposition

If a family member has already suffered a heart attack in your relationship, the risk increases as well. In this respect, looking at the family gives you an important indication of your personal risk. Ask yourself if a first-degree relative (father, mother, sibling) has already had a heart attack. No (0 pts) and if yes, whether it was before the 55th (10 pts) or before the 70th year of life (5 pts).

Simple evaluation

0 points: Congratulations! Your heart attack risk tends to zero. Keep this healthy lifestyle.

1 – 5 points: Your heart attack risk is very low, but where is there already one hundred percent? Basically, there is little that you can do to improve. You may want to focus more on exercise or on a healthier diet, and your heart will enjoy long-lasting health.

6 – 10 points: There is already a heart attack risk that should not be ignored. Get better checked regularly for your heart health. If you have achieved full marks in one or more answers, try improving your heart health, such as getting more exercise or quitting smoking.

From 11 points: This number does not suggest anything good. Unfortunately, with more than 10 points in this small self-test, there is already a high risk of myocardial infarction. If you have reached 10 points and more, a permanent medical check is recommended.

Picture credits: Viacheslav Iakobchuk /

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