Risk functions for prediction of cardiovascular disease in elderly Australians: the Dubbo Study

Med J Aust. 2003 Feb 3;178(3):113-6. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05100.x.


Objectives: To evaluate a Framingham risk function for coronary heart disease in an elderly Australian cohort and to derive a risk function for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in elderly Australians.

Design and setting: Analysis of data from a prospective cohort study (the Dubbo Study) in a semi-urban town (population, 34 000).

Participants: 2805 men and women 60 years and older living in the community, first assessed in 1988, and a subcohort of 2102 free of CVD at study entry.

Main outcome measures: Incidence of CVD (myocardial infarction, coronary death or stroke) over 5 and 10 years.

Results: A Framingham risk function assessing "hard" coronary heart disease (ie, myocardial infarction or coronary death) accurately predicted 10-year incidence in men and women aged 60-79 years who were free of prevalent CVD or diabetes at study entry. In a multiple logistic model, CVD incidence was significantly predicted by age, sex, taking antihypertensive medication, blood pressure, smoking, total cholesterol level and diabetes. For a given age and cholesterol level, CVD risk over 5 years was doubled in the presence of antihypertensive medication or diabetes, increased by 50% with cigarette smoking, and halved in women compared with men.

Conclusions: We have derived a simple CVD risk function specifically for elderly Australians that employs risk factors readily accessible to all medical practitioners.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol / adverse effects
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / etiology


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Cholesterol