BACKGROUND: Although the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA) guidelines were published in 2012, many individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are not prescribed preventive medication or have CVD risk factors recorded. Better use of CVD risk prediction tools and targeting of medication could reduce CVD.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this article is to review recent developments in CVD risk prediction, including calculators developed in the USA, UK and New Zealand, and non-traditional tests for cardiovascular risk assessment.
DISCUSSION: The Framingham Risk Equation explains much of the risk variance in the population but overestimates risk for a contemporary Australian population. Newer risk calculators show improvement in calibration. Individuals vary greatly in terms of whether they will find the potential benefits of taking medication worthwhile, and shared decision-making tools can help to clarify decision making.