A new online health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age

The Cardiovascular Disease Population Risk Tool (CVDPoRT).

A new online health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
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Cardiovascular disease is the 2nd leading cause of death in Canada. Also known as ischemic heart disease or coronary heart disease, it refers to the buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries that could lead to a heart attack, heart failure, or death.

Despite the fact that the dangers of death from coronary illness are modifiable with the way of life changes. The vast majority are uninformed about their cardiovascular hazard until the point that they encounter a heart occasion, which might be lethal.

Now, scientists have developed a new online health calculator can enable individuals to decide their danger of coronary illness, and additionally their heart age, representing sociodemographic factors, for example, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.

Dr. Doug Manuel, lead author, senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and a senior core scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) said, “What sets this cardiovascular risk calculator apart is that it looks at healthy living, and it is better calibrated to the Canadian population. It allows individuals to accurately predict their risk of hospitalization or death from cardiovascular disease within the next five years. For example, if their risk is five percent, it means that five in 100 people like them will experience a serious cardiovascular event in the next five years. The calculator also provides heart age, an easy-to-understand measure of heart health.”

For this calculator, scientists made use of ‘big data’ gathered from 104 219 Ontario residents from the Canadian Community Health Surveys (2001 to 2007) linked to ICES data on hospitalizations and deaths to develop and validate the Cardiovascular Disease Population Risk Tool (CVDPoRT).

Unlike other risk prediction tools, the Cardiovascular Disease Population Risk Tool considers many factors, such as sociodemographic status, environmental influences like air pollution, health behaviors ranging from smoking status to alcohol intake to physical activity, health conditions and more.

Dr. Manuel said, “A lot of people are interested in healthy living, but often we don’t have that discussion in the doctor’s office. Doctors will check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but they don’t necessarily ask about lifestyle factors that could put you at risk of a heart attack and stroke. We hope this tool can help people — and their care team — with better information about healthy living and options for reducing their risk of heart attack and stroke.”

The process to build and validate the tool is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).