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Heart Disease, Stroke-Risk Estimator App Available for Health Care Professionals

Tool calculates 10-year and lifetime risks of heart attack and ischemic stroke (February 18)

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have released a mobile and Web-based app for health care professionals to use with their patients in determining 10-year and lifetime risks of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), the major cause of heart attack and ischemic stroke.

“This tool is meant to facilitate a conversation between the health care provider and the patient about the patient’s risk of heart attack and stroke and how best to reduce those risks,” said John G. Harold, MD, MACC, president of the ACC. “While we hope the app will make the risk assessment guidelines more accessible, it is not a substitute for face-to-face engagement. It is a tool to help health professionals and patients work together as part of a discussion of the patient’s medical history and lifestyle.”

The ASCVD Risk Estimator — a mobile and Web version of the Excel-based calculator released with the ACC/AHA Cardiovascular Risk Guideline in November 2013 — uses the patients’ age, sex, race, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, blood pressure-lowering medication use, diabetes status, and smoking status to estimate their 10-year and lifetime risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke.

The app also helps health care professionals determine whether statin therapy is appropriate, what intensity of statin therapy is needed, how to address safety concerns of statin therapy, and what lifestyle changes should be made.

The mobile app can be downloaded for free from the iTunes and Google Play app stores. The Web version is available on CardioSource.org and on myamericanheart.org.

Source: AHA; February 18, 2014.

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