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Women's Heart & Vascular Health
Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health
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How Healthy is Your Heart? 
Take our risk assessment.

Obesity Risk Tools


"Obesity is the No. 1 indicator of potential cardiovascular diseases."—Stephanie Coulter, MD 

Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Extra body fat, especially around the waist, can also raise blood pressure, raise LDL “bad cholesterol,” lower HDL or “good cholesterol,” and cause diabetes. Knowing your Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference are two ways to estimate your body fat. Use the tools below to establish where you fall on the obesity scale.

BMI calculator

Measure your waistline 

Why women should measure their BMIs and waistline
  • An overweight BMI (25.0-29.9) increases your risk for heart disease.
  • An obese BMI (30.0 or greater) causes high risk for heart disease.
  • Women who have a lot of fat around the waist are at greater risk for heart disease than those that have fat around the hips.
  • Having a waistline of more than 35 inches (88 cm), regardless of BMI, increases your risk of heart disease.
  • An obese or overweight BMI (25.0 or greater) combined with a waistline circumference of more than 35 inches (88 cm) results in a very high to extremely high risk of heart disease.
Learn more about this topic in the Heart Information Center.

Updated January 2015
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