The first Australian Guidelines for the assessment of absolute cardiovascular disease risk are now available. These guidelines were developed to support health professionals in the assessment of absolute cardiovascular risk.
Absolute risk, as defined in these guidelines, is the numerical probability of a cardiovascular event occurring within a five-year period. It reflects a person’s ‘individualised’ risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), as opposed to the traditional method that considers various risk factors, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, in isolation.
These guidelines make recommendations for assessing absolute CVD risk in adults aged 45-74 years (35 years and above for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander adults). They feature sections on assessing adults:
- without known CVD
- with diabetes or chronic kidney disease
- who are overweight or obese.
These guidelines are an important step toward a single preventive approach to CVD in Australia. Clinical decisions based on absolute risk can lead to improved health outcomes by identifying people most at risk and directing the right treatments to them.
The guidelines were developed by the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA)* and approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
*NVDPA members: Diabetes Australia, Kidney Health Australia, the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the National Stroke Foundation.