The NHS has released a new online app that assesses your chances of having a heart attack.

Are you looking after your heart?

Are you looking after your heart?

The app asks individuals a series of questions on lifestyle, such as weight, height, age, smoking history, family and personal medical history all to determine their likelihood of a heart attack.

Medical professionals are hoping that this calculator will help to motivate people to makes changes to their lifestyles once they have highlighted how many years that they have left before they will have a heart attack.

Professor John Deanfield, an NHS cardiologist who helped develop the app, said it could be a "real wake-up call" for people and the way they are currently living their lives.

"It can be that all important nudge to take action and make lifestyle changes to improve your heart health," he told The Daily Telegraph.

The app can only be completed by those who were born before 1985 and asks for blood pressure and cholesterol levels and gets the user to list any medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease or atrial fibrillation.

Researchers have argued that this tool is a generalisation and might distress users, with regards to family history of which they have no control over. It might also encourage people to take medication out of panic, when they don't necessarily need it.

In the US, the likelihood of heart attacks was being overestimated between 37 and 154% in men and 67% in women.

Dr Aseem Malhotra, an honorary consultant cardiologist at Frimley Park Hospital, cautioned the results of the calculator citing the US results and calling it "a pretty crude evaluation".

A spokesperson for NHS Choices told The Independent that the tool was targeted at "people over 40" and aimed to get them thinking "about their numbers, so they go onto the site and check their blood pressure".

Approximately one in five men and one in eight women die from heart disease, and there is an average of 124,000 heart attacks in the UK every year.

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