Prioritising cardiovascular disease risk assessment to high risk individuals based on primary care records

Change log
Chung, Ryan 
Xu, Zhe 
Arnold, Matthew 
Stevens, David 
Barrett, Jessica 

Objective: To provide quantitative evidence for systematically prioritising individuals for full formal cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment using primary care records with a novel tool (eHEART) with age- and sex- specific risk thresholds.

Methods and Analysis: eHEART was derived using landmark Cox models for incident CVD with repeated measures of conventional CVD risk predictors in 1,642,498 individuals from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. Using 119,137 individuals from UK Biobank, we modelled the implications of initiating guideline-recommended statin therapy using eHEART with age- and sex-specific prioritisation thresholds corresponding to 5% false negative rates to prioritise adults aged 40-69 years in a population in England for invitation to a formal CVD risk assessment.

Results: Formal CVD risk assessment on all adults would identify 76% and 49% of future CVD events amongst men and women respectively, and 93 (95% CI: 90, 95) men and 279 (95% CI: 259, 297) women would need to be screened (NNS) to prevent one CVD event. In contrast, if eHEART was first used to prioritise individuals for formal CVD risk assessment, we would identify 73% and 47% of future events amongst men and women respectively, and a NNS of 75 (95% CI: 72, 77) men and 162 (95% CI: 150, 172) women. Replacing the age- and sex-specific prioritisation thresholds with a 10% threshold identify around 10% less events.

Conclusions: The use of prioritisation tools with age- and sex-specific thresholds could lead to more efficient CVD assessment programmes with only small reductions in effectiveness at preventing new CVD events.

Journal Title
PLoS One
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Public Library of Science (PLoS)
British Heart Foundation (RG/18/13/33946)
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)
Medical Research Council (MR/K014811/1)
British Heart Foundation (FS/18/56/34177D)
MRC (MR/L501566/1)
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (NIHR203337)
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (NIHR300861)