Find out your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

By Roni Caryn Rabin
Updated July 03, 2007
Notebook, apple, and pencil
Credit: Gemma Comas
  • You can find out how likely you are to face serious illnesses (and what you can do to lower your odds) by plugging your medical information into simple online assessment tools.
  • Heart disease. Heart disease kills nearly 350,000 American women each year. Assess your risk at Click on “Healthy Lifestyle,” then “Health Tools,” for the Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment Tool. Call your doctor first, since you’ll need to know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Could you have diabetes and not know it? This stealthy disease is on the rise in the United States, and it increases your risk for heart disease and other serious ailments. Find out whether you’re a candidate by going to the Harvard School of Public Health’s disease-risk site at
  • Cancer. Calculate your chances of developing various types of cancer, including breast cancer, at the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention’s site at
  • Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. A high body-mass index (or BMI―a ratio of weight to height) can raise your odds of getting these diseases. Find out your BMI by using the BMI Calculator.