Updated risk model helps doctors predict and prevent cardiovascular disease

Research developing the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk prediction calculator to aid efforts to reduce the burden of CVD in Europe has been published today by European Heart Journal.

The research – carried out by the SCORE2 Working Group and the ESC Cardiovascular Risk Collaboration – analysed data from nearly 700,000 mainly middle-aged participants in 45 large-scale studies to develop risk prediction models (SCORE2) tailored for use in European countries.

The participants did not have previous history of CVD at the outset and 30,000 had a CVD event (heart attack or stroke) during the first 10 years of follow up.

These risk models were then statistically adapted or ‘recalibrated’ to more accurately estimate CVD risk for contemporary populations in four European risk regions, using data on population-specific CVD incidence rates and risk factor values from 10.8 million individuals.

SCORE2 will replace the original SCORE (Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation) model, and is adopted by the upcoming European Guidelines on CVD Prevention in Clinical Practice.

Professor Di Angelantonio (pictured), who with Dr Lisa Pennells and Dr Stephen Kaptoge led the research from the University of Cambridge, said: “The original research focused solely on predicting and preventing mortality, using data from the 1980s.

“But now more people survive heart attacks and strokes than die from them, especially younger people, so we wanted to show the absolute risk scores of people having non-fatal as well as fatal CVD within 10 years.

“This new highly collaborative effort was developed using data from dozens of countries, including exceptionally powerful, extensive and complementary datasets of contemporary relevance to European populations.

“As this risk prediction tool is superior to its predecessors, it should have substantial real-world impact by improving the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease across Europe through helping doctors to identify high-risk patients who may benefit from lifestyle change or preventative medication.”

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