Objectives: Based on the data of the Prospective Cardiovascular Münster (PROCAM) study, a prospective study of men and women at work in the north-west of Germany, we aimed (i) to develop a refined scoring scheme for calculating the risk of acute coronary events among adult and elderly men and women; and (ii) to generate a new scoring scheme for calculating the risk of ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
Methods: The coronary risk score was derived from a Weibull function using data from 18 460 men and 8515 women who were recruited before 1996 and had a mean follow-up period of 12+/-6 years. The stroke score was derived using a Cox proportional hazards model using data of 5905 men and 2225 women aged 35-65 years with at least 10 years of unbroken follow-up.
Results: The coronary risk score was based on 511 major coronary events, 462 (168 fatal, 294 non-fatal) in men and 49 (18 fatal, 31 non-fatal) in women and included the risk factors LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, smoking status, triglycerides and diabetes mellitus status. It was accurate in both sexes over an age range from 20 to 75 years with an area under the receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) curve of 0.82. The stroke score was based on 85 cerebral ischaemic events (21 TIAs, 64 ischaemic strokes) and included the risk factors age, sex, diabetes mellitus status, smoking status and systolic blood pressure. It had an area under the ROC curve of 0.78 and identified a high-risk group comprising only 4% of the study population that contained 31% of all cerebral ischaemic events.
Conclusion: Both new PROCAM risk scores provide simple and effective ways to assess the risk of acute coronary events and ischaemic stroke in the general population and will improve the ability of physicians to target measures in an effort to prevent these potentially devastating conditions.