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New GP computer software to help prevent heart disease
Date:2/5/2009

New computer software that will allow GPs to more accurately assess which patients are most at risk of developing heart disease has been released for clinical use.

QRISK2 uses a new cardiovascular disease (CVD) equation to estimate an individual's risk of developing the heart condition over the next 10 years and draws on analysis of 15 years' worth of real primary care data from the UK.

The QRISK2 software is the result of research using QResearch, a not-for-profit partnership between The University of Nottingham and leading primary care system supplier EMIS, which has created a database of anonymous data taken from the health records of more than four million patients. Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Queen Mary and from Bristol and Medway Primary Care Trusts also supported the project.

The release of the software follows an independent validation of the QRISK2 formula in a Department of Health-backed study the third independent study to confirm that it provides a more accurate and fairer assessment of CVD risk than the widely-used Framingham risk equation.

Unlike Framingham, QRISK2 takes into account the higher risk of developing CVD to patients from deprived areas and from certain ethnic groups, particularly those with a South Asian background. It also considers other risk factors, including whether the patient already suffers from a pre-existing condition such as diabetes.

Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox, of The University of Nottingham's Division of Primary Care, said: "We believe this formula has the potential to save many thousands of lives, by helping clinicians to more accurately predict those at risk of developing cardiovascular disease the nation's biggest killer.

"It will arm doctors with all the information they need to decide how best to target patients with preventative measures such as lifestyle advice and cholesterol-lowering treatments."

QRISK2 will support Gov
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Contact: Emma Thorne
emma.thorne@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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