Guidelines change, and recently new material was released concerning cardiovascular risk. The spreadsheet enables health care providers and patients to estimate 10-year and lifetime risks for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), defined as coronary death or nonfatal myocardial infarction, or fatal or nonfatal stroke, based on the Pooled Cohort Equations and the work of Lloyd-Jones, et al., respectively. The information required to estimate ASCVD risk includes age, sex, race, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, blood pressure lowering medication use, diabetes status, and smoking status.
However, the more I play with different patients’ numbers, even my own mother’s, the more it is very obvious the calculator overestimates risk fairly significantly. We can expect, I guess, statin snack machines to pop up everywhere since most will now be candidates to be on a statin.
Read more about this in a fabulous NY Times article that really goes in-depth concerning the embarrassment and application in the future.
The controversy set off turmoil at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, which started this weekend in Dallas. After an emergency session on Saturday night, the two organizations that published the guidelines — the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology — said that while the calculator was not perfect, it was a major step forward, and that the guidelines already say patients and doctors should discuss treatment options rather than blindly follow a calculator.