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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Florida: Researchers Develop Easy Tool to Predict Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

A new assessment tool can predict users’ 10-year risk of heart attack or stroke with just a few patient-inputted responses, no lab tests required.

Developed by University of Florida researchers, the EZ-CVD calculates a person’s risk score based on six questions on sex, age, current smoking status, diagnosis of diabetes or high blood pressure, and family history of premature heart attack. The team describes the tool’s development and validation in a Journal of the American Heart Association paper.

The UF researchers set out to develop an accurate tool that was easier for patients to use than the current standard risk score, the Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease, offered by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Because the ASCVD requires users to know their current cholesterol and blood pressure levels, adoption has been limited, said lead author Dr. Hend Mansoor, a recent graduate of the health services research PhD program in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions.

“By providing patients with a very easy-to-use risk score they can do on their own, we hope to increase the number of at-risk individuals receiving preventive therapy for cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Mansoor said.

EZ-CVD also has the potential to greatly improve delivery of care in a timely manner, said senior author Dr. Arch G. Mainous III, chair of the UF Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy.

“To use the ASCVD correctly, if the patient doesn’t have recent cholesterol results the physician would have to order those tests, send the patient to the lab and wait for the results to be able to compute the patient’s risk for a heart attack or stroke,” Dr. Mainous said.

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