To develop a simple, patient self-report-based coronary heart disease (CHD) risk score for adults without previously diagnosed CHD (Personal Heart Early Assessment Risk Tool [HEART] score), the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) Study, a prospective cohort of subjects aged 45 to 64 years at baseline, was used to develop a measure for 10-year risk of CHD (n = 14,343). Variables evaluated for inclusion were age, history of diabetes mellitus, history of hypercholesterolemia, history of hypertension, family history of CHD, smoking, physical activity, and body mass index. The 10-year risk of CHD events was defined as myocardial infarction, fatal CHD, or cardiac procedure. The new measure was compared with the Framingham Risk Score (FRS) and European Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE). The Personal HEART score for men included age, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, physical activity, and family history. In men, the area under the receiver-operator characteristic curve for predicting 10-year CHD for the Personal HEART score (0.65) was significantly different from that for the FRS (0.69, p = 0.03), but not for the European SCORE (0.62, p = 0.12). The Personal HEART score for women included age, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, and body mass index. The area under the curve for the Personal HEART score (0.79) for women was not significantly different from that for the FRS (0.81, p = 0.42) and performed better than the European SCORE (0.69, p = 0.01). In conclusion, the Personal HEART score identifies 10-year risk for CHD based on self-report data, is similar in predictive ability to the FRS and European SCORE, and has the potential for easy self-assessment.