Background: There is a considerable gap between the recommended prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD) in the guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology and the actually conducted clinical practice in preventive cardiology. A new method for implementing the recommended clinical practice in preventive cardiology is described.
Aim: To develop a comprehensive and flexible health educational computer program (the PRECARD program) for individual coronary risk prediction and multifactorial prevention.
Material and methods: The PRECARD program contains a new coronary risk score (the Copenhagen Risk Score) for myocardial infarction and a model for calculating the effect of intervention. Two Danish population studies (n = 11,765) with 10 years of follow up were used to establish the risk score. The included risk factors were: age, sex, cholesterol (incl. HDL), systolic blood pressure, smoking, body mass index, diabetes, familial predisposition and previous heart disease. Nine randomized clinical trials were used to estimate the effect of intervention.
Results: The findings in the Copenhagen Risk Score and the estimated effect of intervention deducted from the clinical trials were comparable to other similar studies. The PRECARD program gives a graphical or numerical presentation of absolute coronary risk, the potential benefit of intervention, the relative impact of modifiable risk factors and numbers needed to treat. The program compiles individually tailored health messages in print for the patient. The program can easily be adjusted to different regional risk scores, other end-points and languages.
Conclusion: The PRECARD program may promote the recommended clinical practice in preventive cardiology by serving as an integrated part of the lifestyle consultation.