Guidelines for the assessment and management of absolute CVD risk

The first Australian Guidelines for the management of absolute cardiovascular disease risk are now available.

The guidelines incorporate and builds on the previous NVDPA Guidelines for the assessment of absolute cardiovascular disease risk (2009) and consolidates a number of other evidence-based guidelines related to primary prevention of CVD.

Absolute risk is the numerical probability of a cardiovascular event occurring within a five-year period. It reflects a person’s overall risk of CVD, as opposed to the traditional method that considers various risk factors, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, in isolation.

The guidelines make recommendations for assessing and managing absolute CVD risk in adults aged over 45 years (35 years for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander adults) who are without known CVD. Special sections providing advice on preventing CVD for those with diabetes and chronic kidney disease are included where relevant.

These guidelines are an important step as they provide a single preventive approach to first-ever CVD in Australia. Clinical decisions based on absolute risk can lead to improved health outcomes by identifying people most at risk and directing the right treatments to them.

The guidelines were developed by the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA). The guidelines were released in May 2012 after approval by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Guidelines and tools

Consumer resources

National Stroke Foundation contact: Kelvin Hill khill@strokefoundation.com.au