New risk assessment tool for coronary disease developed for Europe


STOCKHOLM (Reuters Health) – New risk assessment charts for Europe have been developed to more fully incorporate the regional variations seen in heart disease risk, it was announced here Monday at the XXIII European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress.

The current heart disease risk assessment chart used by the ESC is based on data obtained in the United States in the well-known Framingham study, conducted on 5000 individuals in a town in the northern US. Because inter-country variations in risk have been well documented over the past few years, these tables are not truly applicable to a European setting, according to the steering committee of the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) project.

The SCORE project, led by Professor Ian Graham of Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, examined follow-up data from half a million people throughout Europe, involving 3 million person-years of observation and over 7000 cardiovascular events. As a result, new charts have been developed for high- and low-risk European populations, and these charts can be adjusted for local mortality data. In addition, stroke risk can be assessed separately.

The SCORE committee hopes to go beyond the publication of static risk charts, and an easy-to-use, interactive Web version is planned, where suggestions for prevention and treatment could be stored. However, the charts are far from complete.

At this stage the tables are based on age, sex, smoking, blood pressure and cholesterol, and more risk factors could eventually be included. It is hoped that the charts will be published in the British Heart Journal within the next 6 months.

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