An accurate method for assessing a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been developed by an international team of researchers.
The team has developed QRisk2, an equation that would help doctors identify those most at risk of developing CVD for the first time, simultaneously taking into account extra risk from ethnicity, social deprivation and other clinical conditions such as family history of heart disease or diabetes.
This would help in targeting patients with preventative measures such as lifestyle advice and cholesterol-lowering treatments.
The study undertaken by the University of Nottingham, leading primary care systems supplier, EMIS, Universities of Edinburg, Queen Mary's and from Bristol and Medway Primary Care Trusts revealed that certain ethnic groups were at a much greater risk of developing CVD than the general population.
It showed that Pakistani men were nearly twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke, while Bangladeshi men had 70 per cent increased risk of CVD.
QRisk2 also indicated that Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women's risk of CVD was 43 per cent, 80 per cent and 35 per cent higher, respectively,
"Based on the study of 15 years of data from over 2 million UK patients, QRisk2 is a contemporary and specific risk score that allows CVD risk to be personalised to the individual patient," BMJ quoted Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox of The University of Nottingham, as saying.
"Qrisk2 has been developed for GPs, by GPs and without the co-operation of the thousands of working GPs who freely contribute their data to QResearch, projects like QRisk2 could not happen," she added.
Dr David Stables, Clinical Director of EMIS and a Director of Qresearch, said: "QRisk2 is likely to be a more efficient tool for treatment decisions, supporting the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
"We are currently working on software that will enable GPs to implement QRisk2 easily within clinical practice," he added.