GPs can put BP and cholesterol measurements into the Ethrisk calculator, which then works out a person's 10-year risk of heart disease depending on their ethnic origin and sex.
The calculator uses a version of the Framingham risk score, adjusted to take into account the effect of ethnicity on cardiovascular risk. The adjustments were made using data collected from 3,778 men and 4,544 women aged 35-54 in England.
Among non-smoking men aged 50, who had a systolic BP of 130mmHg and a total high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ration below 4.2, those of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin had the highest 10-year risk, and Caribbean the lowest.
Among women meeting similar criteria, those of Pakistani origin had the highest risk, and Chinese the lowest.
Kent GP Dr Rubin Minhas, member of the South Asian Health Foundation, said: 'Ethrisk represents a major advance in the improvement of risk prediction.'
Heart 2006 Online
Live links at GPonline.com.