Cardiovascular disease: risk assessment and reduction, including lipid modification

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence


Identifying and assessing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk

Identifying people for full formal risk assessment

  • For the primary prevention of CVD in primary care, use a systematic strategy to identify people who are likely to be at high risk
  • Prioritise people on the basis of an estimate of their CVD risk before a full formal risk assessment. Estimate their CVD risk using CVD risk factors already recorded in primary care electronic medical records
  • People older than 40 should have their estimate of CVD risk reviewed on an ongoing basis
  • Prioritise people for a full formal risk assessment if their estimated 10-year risk of CVD is 10% or more
  • Discuss the process of risk assessment with the person identified as being at risk, including the option of declining any formal risk assessment
  • Do not use opportunistic assessment as the main strategy in primary care to identify CVD risk in unselected people

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