February 24, 2015 – Who’s at Risk


Anchor lead:  Tools to predict heart disease risk vary in their predictive ability based on who’s being assessed, Elizabeth Tracey reports

The same heart disease criteria don’t apply evenly to everyone, a recent Johns Hopkins study led by Michael Blaha, a preventive cardiology expert, and colleagues, has shown.

Blaha: What we’re seeing is that some risk estimators might perform better in certain populations than others.  Populations with high cardiovascular disease risk burden, scores based on the Framingham risk score like the new 2013 ACC/AHA risk estimator, might perform well.  But in more modern populations where the risk factors are lower, people have healthier lifestyles, and that might be multiethnic, we think that the Reynolds risk score might actually perform better in those populations, and you might need to decide whom do your patients look more like? A Framingham type patient or someone who might have been in the Women’s Health Study?   :31

Blaha says when your physician is advising you of your heart disease risk it is appropriate for you to ask which risk calculator is being employed and whether that’s the best fit for you, as most calculators overestimate risk.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.