Simplified Framingham Model May Miscalculate Risk for Millions

SAN FRANCISCO — September 9, 2010 — A method that is widely used to predict the risk of a major coronary event may over- or under-estimate risk for millions of patients in the United States, according to a study appearing online first in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The method in question is the simplified version of the so-called Framingham model, which is used to estimate a patient’s 10-year risk of a myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, or other coronary event based on risk factors such as age, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and smoking.

National guidelines recommend using the risk estimates generated by the Framingham model to classify patients as among 1 of 3 risk groups. Guidelines recommend more aggressive strategies to treat cholesterol in patients classified into higher-risk groups.

The original Framingham model uses a complicated mathematical equation to calculate risk, while the simplified version is based on a point system, with a certain number of points for each risk factor. Read more…

Heart Care