Modified ACSM Risk Classification Calculator (Classic)

Diagnosed Disease

Cardiovascular disease

  • Cardiac, peripheral vascular, or cerebrovascular disease

Pulmonary disease

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, interstitial lung disease, or cystic fibrosis

Metabolic disease

  • Diabetes mellitus (type I or II), thyroid disorders, renal or liver disease

Major Symptoms or Signs Suggestive of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease

The following signs and symptoms must be interpreted within the clinical context in which they appear since they are not all specific for metabolic, pulmonary, or cardiovascular disease.

Pain or discomfort in the chest, neck, jaw, arms, or other areas that may be due to myocardial ischemia (lack of adequate circulation)

Shortness of breath at rest, during daily activities, or with mild exertion

Dizziness or syncope (fainting)

Orthopnea (breathing discomfort when not in an upright position) or paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (interrupted breathing at night)

Ankle edema (swelling)

Palpitations (abnormal rapid beating of the heart) or tachycardia (rapid heart beat)

Intermittent claudication (cramping pain and weakness in legs, especially calves, during walking due to inadequate blood supply to muscles)

Known heart murmur (atypical heart sound indicating a structural or functional abnormality)

Unusual or unexplained fatigue

Coronary Artery Disease Risk Factors

The following risk factors should not be viewed as all inclusive.


  • Men > 45 years
  • Women > 55 or premature menopause without estrogen replacement therapy


  • High blood pressure confirmed by measurement on at least two separate occasions
    • Systolic blood pressure: 140 mmHg or greater
    • Diastolic blood pressure: 90 mmHg or greater
  • Using Antihypertensive medication


  • Low Density lipoprotein: > 130 mg/dL (3.4 mmol/L)
    • If low density lipoprotein is not available, use total cholesterol criteria instead:
    • Total serum cholesterol: >200 mg/dl (5.2 mmol/L)
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol: <40 mg/dl (1.03 mmol/L)
  • Using lipid-lowering medication

High serum HDL cholesterol (negative risk factor)

  • >60 mg/dL (1.6 mmol/L)
    • High serum HDL cholesterol decreases the risk of coronary artery disease
    • Subtracts one risk factor from sum of positive risk factors above

Impaired fasting glucose

  • Fasting blood glucose: 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or greater confirmed by measurements on at least 2 separate occasions


  • Exercise professionals should use clinical judgment when evaluating this risk factor
  • Professional opinions vary regarding the most appropriate markers and thresholds for obesity

Sedentary Lifestyle

  • Not participating in a regular exercise program
  • Not accumulating 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most days of the week


  • Current cigarette smoker
  • Quit within previous 6 months

Family History

  • Myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, or sudden death
    • before 55 years of age in father or other male first degree relative (ie, brother or son)
    • before 65 years of age in mother or other female first degree relative (ie, sister or daughter)
Current (within past year) medical examination and exercise testing before participation:
Moderate Exercise Vigorous Exercise
Physician supervision of exercise tests:
Submaximal Test Maximal Test

Moderate activity

  • intensity comfortably sustainable for about 45 minutes
  • approximately 3-6 METs: equivalent to walking 3-4 mph (4.8-6.5 kmph)
  • 40%-60% of maximal oxygen uptake

Vigorous activity

  • produces substantial cardiorespiratory challenge
  • greater than 6 METs: running or walking faster than 4 mph (>6.5 kmph)
  • greater than 60% of maximal oxygen uptake


ACSM (1998). American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand and American Heart Association. Recommendations for cardiovascular screening, staffing, and emergency policies at health/fitness facilities. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 30(6):1009–18.

ACSM (2013). Participation Health Screening, ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 9th ed. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, 19-38.

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