New tools developed to help clinicians predict risk of cardiovascular disease
Boston, MA – A new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers provides powerful new tools to help clinicians around the globe predict their patients’ 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The researchers produced the first set of risk charts for 182 countries to predict future risk of fatal and non-fatal CVD events, including heart attack and stroke. These up-to-date charts will be useful everywhere, but particularly in low- and middle-income countries that lack locally-developed models to predict CVD risk, and in places where access to labs that can perform bloodwork is limited. Typically, blood tests are necessary to measure CVD risk factors such as blood sugar and lipids.
Previously available risk models and charts were applicable only to a few high-income countries or to regions. The complete set of new risk charts and the risk calculators are available online at www.globorisk.org.
The study appeared January 23, 2017 in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
“National and international guidelines recommend that physicians use risk prediction equations, usually in the form of risk charts, to predict which of their patients are at high risk for heart disease and stroke, and to suggest lifestyle modification or prescribe medication to lower their risk. These new risk charts, specifically calibrated for each country, remove major obstacles in applying risk-based strategies to prevent cardiovascular diseases,” said Goodarz Danaei, assistant professor of global health at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the paper.