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Can J Cardiol. 2006 May 15;22(7):606-13.

The role of global risk assessment in hypertension therapy.

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Centre for the Analysis of Cost-Effective Care, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, The Montreal General Hospital, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


To maximize the benefits of preventive therapy, lipid and hypertension guidelines increasingly recommend that high-risk individuals be targeted for treatment. An individual's risk of developing cardiovascular disease depends on many risk factors, such as age, sex, blood pressure, blood lipid levels, body weight, physical fitness, smoking habits and familial predisposition. Multivariable statistical models have therefore been developed to better estimate the global risk of future coronary events and stroke. A Canadian model is not currently available because a prospective cohort of sufficient size has not been followed in Canada. Therefore, global risk assessment among Canadians can only be completed using models developed in the United States or Europe. In the present review, cardiovascular risk tools are identified that may be appropriate for Canadians, including those based on the Framingham model, the Cardiovascular Life Expectancy Model, the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) model and the Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) model. The accuracy of the Framingham model and the Cardiovascular Life Expectancy Model are also evaluated using data from a small, prospective Canadian cohort. Finally, a framework is proposed to assist health care professionals in choosing the global risk tool most appropriate for their patients.

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