Abstract 15691: Modelling the Potential of “Heart Age/Vascular Age” Awareness on Cardiovascular Disease Event Rates in the United States
Background: “Heart Age” or “Vascular Age” is an alternative expression of age-appropriate cardiovascular risk based on the output of Framingham Risk Scores and shown to promote more accurate risk perception in users. Using modeling we explored the potential impact on the number of cardiovascular events avoided by reducing individual's heart age to their chronological age.
Methods & Results: We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), collected between 1999 and 2006 and calculated estimated 10-year CVD risks and ‘Heart Age’ (derived from Framingham Risk Scores) for eligible individuals (30-74 years; free of CVD, complete risk factor information) within sample populations (n=5100). The predicted number of events in the population was estimated by multiplying the probability of CVD risk in the next ten years for each age group by the proportion of the eligible population within each age group (30-74 years, free of CVD) based on US census data. We re-set Heart Age to chronological age in all individuals except for those whose Heart Age was already younger than chronological age. We subsequently back-calculated the estimated ten-year CVD risk for all individuals. The mean baseline 10 year CVD risk of individuals aged 30-74 was estimated at 9.5% (12.7% in men, 6.6% in women), which translated into 13,286,009 predicted CVD events over the next ten years (8,376,164 in men and 4,832,390 in women). By equalizing Heart Ages to the chronological age, the estimated CVD risk of individuals aged 30-74 fell to a mean of 5.7% (7.7% in men, 3.9% in women). This was a net reduction of 5,323,924 CVD events over the next ten years (3,306,249 in men and 1,987,664 in women), a reduction of approximately 40% in the predicted events.
Conclusions: The “Heart Age” concept is a simple method for communicating risk and as a target to aim for could have substantial population health benefits. Methods for achieving this are feasible through both medication and lifestyle changes.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.