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New Score for cardiovascular disease risk prediction in Europe released

New research from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) to help predict the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), especially heart attack and stroke, has been published in the European Heart Journal on Tuesday. That could help to reduce the burden of these diseases.


The research – carried out by the SCORE2 and SCORE2-Older Person (OP) working groups together with the ESC Cardiovascular Risk Collaboration – analyzed data from more than 700,000 middle- and older-aged participants in several population-based studies, to develop risk prediction models (SCORE2 and SCORE2-OP) tailored for implementation in European countries. The participants did not have previous history of CVD at the outset and altogether there were more than 30,000 CVD events (heart attack or stroke) recorded during follow up.


The SCORE2 Working Group is a collaboration of academics that was convened to help develop tools for predicting CVD risk which could be used in Europe. The ESC Cardiovascular Risk Collaboration, situated in the ESC’s European Heart Health Institute in Brussels, is a collaboration of academics, policy makers and end users that was established by the ESC in 2019 to help develop tools for predicting CVD risk which could be used in Europe.


After the development the risk models were then adapted or ‘recalibrated’ to more accurately estimate CVD risk for contemporary populations in low-, medium-, high- and very high-risk regions of Europe, using CVD incidence rates derived from population-based registries involving several million individuals across Europe and expected risk factor levels. SCORE2 and SCORE2-OP will be adopted by the upcoming European Guidelines on CVD Prevention in Clinical Practice.


“Our aim was to develop, validate, and illustrate an updated prediction model (SCORE2) to estimate the 10-year fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in individuals without previous CVD or diabetes aged 40–69 years in Europe”, says Professor Krasimira Aleksandrova, Deputy Head of the Department of Epidemiological Methods and Etiological Research at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS, which also contributed to the study. She adds: “Predicted CVD risk varied several-fold across European regions. For example, the estimated 10-year CVD risk for a 50-year-old smoker, with a systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg, total cholesterol of 5.5 mmol/L, and HDL-cholesterol of 1.3 mmol/L, ranged from 5.9 per cent for men in low-risk countries to 14.0 per cent for men in very high-risk countries, and from 4.2 per cent for women in low-risk countries to 13.7 per cent for women in very high-risk countries.”


Professor Emanuele Di Angelantonio, from the University of Cambridge, one of the senior authors of the studies and co-Chair of the ESC Cardiovascular Risk Collaboration, comments: “This highly collaborative effort was developed using data from dozens of countries, including exceptionally powerful, extensive and complementary datasets of contemporary relevance to European populations. As the new risk prediction algorithms are superior to their predecessors, they should have substantial real-world impact by improving the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease across Europe through enhancing the accuracy, generalizability and validity of disease risk prediction.”


[1] Research paper: ‘SCORE2 risk prediction algorithms: revised models to estimate 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease in Europe’. European Heart Journal. Post-embargo link: https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab309


[2] Research paper: ‘SCORE2-OP risk prediction algorithms: estimating incident cardiovascular event risk in older persons in four geographical risk regions’. Post-embargo link: https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab312