QRISK score for the young developed

A QRISK score that can detect heart disease in younger people has been developed.

Experts at the University of Nottingham used data from 2.5 million electronic health records to create the risk score using factors such as social deprivation and ethnicity.

It is hoped the new tool will allow GPs to predict risk earlier and prevent progression of the disease.

Although GPs have access to the QRISK2 formula to predict cardiovascular disease risk over 10 years, there is no tool to estimate lifetime risk.

For the first time, the new lifetime score also takes account of other factors including: smoking status, systolic BP, cholesterol levels, BMI, family history of heart disease, age and sex.

Julia Hippisley-Cox, professor of clinical epidemiology and general practice in the School of Community Health, said: ‘This new score has the potential to identify younger people who have a high risk over the course of their lifetime, who are currently not picked up by the more conventional "10 year" risk scores.’

She continued: ‘By identifying people at a younger age, GPs will have more chance of intervening before heart disease sets in, to help reduce their lifetime risk through treatments and lifestyle advice.’

Professor Hippisley-Cox said it remained unclear whether early intervention in people with a high lifetime risk but low 10-year risk would have a greater clinical benefit than later intervention.

In addition, further work was needed to determine whether people at low absolute risk would value long term treatments with little short term gain.

Research could also show the appropriate threshold for lifetime risk to balance the expected benefits against the potential adverse effects of interventions such as statins.

The risk calculator can be accessed here.

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