Background: Risk charts, built through risk functions deriving from longitudinal studies, are used in order to identify individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease. For this reason the function has been identified and the global cardiovascular risk chart of the CUORE Project has been prepared, using Italian data coming from different cohorts enrolled between the '80s and the '90s, whose risk factors had been collected by standardized procedures.
Methods: The following risk factors have been used: age (10-year period, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 years), gender (men and women), systolic blood pressure (< or = 129, 130-149, 150-169, > or = 170 mmHg), serum cholesterol (< or = 173, 174-212, 213-251, 252-290, > or = 291 mg/dl), smoking habit (yes, no) and presence of diabetes (yes, no); the first coronary or cerebrovascular event in people aged 40-69 years with no other previous cardiovascular events was considered as endpoint; survival has been assessed up to December 1998.
Results: Out of 18,028 people aged 40-69 years with no previous cardiovascular events, 647 first major cardiovascular events have been identified and validated, 449 coronary and 198 cerebrovascular. Charts are divided according to men and women and to diabetics and non-diabetics respectively; the different colors represent the percent level of risk and go from light green (< 5% in 10 years for men, < 1% in 5 years for women), dark green (between 5 and 10% for men, between 1 and 3% for women), yellow (between 10 and 15% for men, between 3 and 5% for women), orange (between 15 and 20% for men, between 5 and 7% for women), red (between 20 and 30% for men, between 7 and 10% for women), violet (> 30% for men, > 10% for women).
Conclusions: The risk charts were built with data collected in recent years on men and women with a median follow-up of 10 years for men and 5 years for women, considering the first major fatal or non-fatal cardiovascular event as endpoint. Such a tool is easy to be applied by general practitioners and cardiologists in order to achieve a fast and objective evaluation of global cardiovascular risk.