Systematic examination of the updated Framingham Heart Study general cardiovascular risk profile

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75 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND - An updated Framingham risk prediction tool was recently published. It features an expanded end point of general cardiovascular disease and a "vascular age" risk communication analogy. METHODS AND RESULTS - We systematically examined the tool to determine which risk factor combinations allow risk thresholds to be reached and how different risk factor burdens translate into vascular age. We varied risk factor levels in isolation and combination and observed risk output patterns, with high risk defined as ≥20% 10-year predicted risk. As expected, we found that age is the major determinant of 10-year predicted risk for both men and women. Younger individuals tend not to exceed 20% 10-year risk even with multiple risk factors, although with marked risk factor burden, including both smoking and diabetes mellitus, men as young as 35 years of age and women as young as 40 years of age can be classified as high risk. For the risk factor levels we entered, predicted risk ranges from 3.1% to 46.8% for a 45-year-old man and 2.4% to 42.7% for a 55-year-old woman. Likewise, vascular age ranges from 37 to >80 years for a 45-year-old man and 39 to >80 years for a 55-year-old woman. CONCLUSIONS - The inclusion of noncoronary end points in this tool expands the range of predicted risks for men and women at all ages studied. Nevertheless, many younger individuals with high risk factor burden have low 10-year predicted risk. Wide ranges of "vascular age" are available for most chronological ages to assist with risk communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-390
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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