Dundee University researchers have come out with a novel method of measuring the risk of heart disease, highlighting factors such as social strata of people and their level of affluence, which also contributes to heart disease risk.
These important causes are most often eliminated while studying the risk factors and now physicians in Scotland are calculating risk evaluation based on the inclusion of new parameters, to decide the patients who need priority medical intervention.
The present measurement is based on smoking levels, blood pressure and fats (cholesterol and HDL cholesterol) in the blood, according to the age and sex of the patient. The Dundee researchers, working with the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (Sign) have introduced a novel risk measurement score called 'Assign' which will also include additional risks like family history and social strata along with existing lifestyle risks, so that an absolute profile is enabled.
Project leader Prof Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe said:' Existing scores, such as that from Framingham in the USA use levels of smoking, blood pressure and fats in the blood along with patient's age and sex to estimate risk. However, we know that socially deprived people and people from ethnic minorities such as British Asians are at increased risk, not explained by these factors. A year ago we showed that for this reason the Framingham score was unfair to those people in the population at greatest risk of heart disease.'