Prioritising CVD prevention therapy: Absolute risk versus individual risk factors

Jenny Doust*, Sharon Sanders, Paul Glasziou, Jonathan Shaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background Previous studies suggest that a high proportion of persons at high risk of cardiovascular disease in Australia are not receiving adequate disease prevention with blood pressure and lipid lowering therapy. However, it is not clear how a move to an absolute risk factor approach will affect the proportion of the population that is treated with blood pressure and lipid lowering therapy versus treatment based on individual risk factors. Methods We classified participants in the AusDiab follow up cohort study who had no previous history of cardiovascular disease and who were not taking blood pressure or lipid lowering medication currently according to the presence of individual risk factors versus combined absolute risk. Results Of the 3627 participants who were untreated, 429 (12%) had elevated blood pressure and 983 (27%) had dyslipidaemia, with 167 (5%) having both risk factors. 1245 participants (34%) would be treated using the individual risk factor approaches and 281 (8%) using the absolute risk approach based on the most clearly defined criteria of high risk. Conclusion Moving to an absolute risk approach prioritises treatment to those most at risk, but ambiguities regarding what is meant by the absolute risk approach remain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-809
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


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