Blum developed a short screening questionnaire to identify cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents prior to sports participation. The same questionnaire can be used in adults before initiating a sports or exercise program. The author is from the University of Minnesota.


The screening instrument consists of 6 questions.


Responses are either "Yes" or "No".



• The original wording for diet was "Do you have a diet high in saturated fats, salt, sugar and/or total calories?". However, a person may have a high calorie diet if exercising and may need more salt if sweating. Other measures (obesity, hypertension) should be able to detect some of these factors if inappropriate.

• Open-ended questions for activity and diet might be better than yes/no answers.

• There was no question for cocaine or other drug abuse.

• I also added a question about being diagnosed with heart disease and diabetes mellitus.



(1) Blood pressure (elevated on 3 or more readings).

(2) Total serum cholesterol level (elevated)

(3) Serum triglyceride level (elevated)

(4) LDL/HDL ratio (elevated)

(5) Body weight (> 15% above ideal body weight).


If any of the above findings are abnormal:

(1) An additional workup to identify the cause is warranted before allowing participation in the activity.

(2) Unhealthy practices should be discussed

(3) A gradual increase in activity would be appropriate for an obese patient who has led a sedentary lifestyle.


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