ESC launches interactive computer-based risk prediction and management tool for CVD

April 02, 2004

Fri, 02 Apr 2004 07:00:00

Antipolis, France - In an attempt to increase physician adherence to clinical practice guidelines and promote compliance among patients, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has developed a new computer-based program for CVD risk prediction and management.

The new computer software toolknown as HeartScore ®is described as the electronic counterpart to the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) charts, the European risk-prediction system, and uses the most recent European guidelines on CVD prevention.

Dr Jean-Pierre Bassand, president of the ESC, said the HeartScore initiative, recognizing the enormous burden of CVD throughout Europe, and especially the increasing burden in eastern and central European countries, represents an investment in the prevention of cardiovascular mortality. Calling the launch of HeartScore a "major achievement," Bassand said the new tool allows physicians greater ability to assess cardiovascular risk based on existing guidelines and provides a tool to assess which measures need to be addressed to reduce that risk.

HeartScore allows physicians to calculate the 10-year risk of fatal CVD based on the following risk factors: age, gender, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and smoking status. The new computerized system is based on the SCORE risk-assessment model, launched in 2003, that draws on data from 12 European cohort studies involving more than 210000 patients.

In contrast to the SCORE model, HeartScore is interactive and allows physicians to input different risk-factor entries to compute the 10-year risk of fatal CVD. Instead of displaying the risk score on a static chart, the information is displayed graphically. The system also provides information on how to proceed with the patient to reduce the risk of a fatal CVD event.

In a presentation of the model to the media, Dr Troels Thomsen (Glostrup University Hospital, Denmark), whose group developed the interactive computer program, said the new system requires physicians to spend slightly more time with their patients. However, in addition to being able to track risk over time with the new interactive model, HeartScore encourages behavioral change and compliance to therapy.

"This interactivity is perceived by the patient as being more personalized and, in that way, should increase compliance to the lifestyle advice given by the doctor," said Thomsen.

Dr Ian Graham, chair of the Joint European Societies Cardiovascular Prevention Committee, told the media that the new HeartScore computer tool offers advantages over SCOREnamely, interactivity and adaptability to different populations. He noted that some recent studies have shown the Framingham score overestimated CVD risk in some European countries, and the new model should improve the precision of CVD risk assessment.

"Unlike other risk-prediction systems, this is dynamic and will continue to evolve," said Graham. "As newer cohort and population data become available, they can be brought into the project to adjust and refine it."

HeartScore is available in English and has been translated into all 24 official European languages. Country-specific versions will be available as national endorsements are received, said Graham. As of today, HeartScore will be available for physicians free of charge and can be downloaded directly from the ESC website.



Related links

1.

2. [HeartWire > News; Jan 14, 2004]

3. [HeartWire > News; Dec 9, 2003]

4. [HeartWire > News; Nov 28, 2003]

5. [HeartWire > News; Jul 7, 2003]


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