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NICE recommends QRisk should replace Framingham risk score for predicting cardiovascular disease

EMIS : 15 February, 2008  (New Product)
A pioneering research project, QRisk, based on real-life primary care data is set to improve national diagnosis rates for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and potentially could save thousands of lives.
QResearch a not-for-profit partnership between the University of Nottingham and leading primary care system supplier, EMIS, which has created one of the world’s largest primary care research databases, undertook the Qrisk project.

The QRisk project analysed 20 years of data from almost three million UK patients to produce a new equation to help doctors identify those most at risk of developing CVD.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has now recommended that the formula be adopted across medical practice in England and Wales replacing the current standard guidance for predicting CVD, the Framingham risk score.

In a new public consultation document, NICE said: “Emerging evidence suggests that QRisk gives a better estimation of risk in the general population of England and Wales than the Framingham equations.”

QRisk project leader ,professor Julia Hippisley-Cox, of the University of Nottingham, said: “This is a landmark decision that opens the way for our research to make a real difference to patient care.”

“If adopted nationally, we estimate that QRisk could save many thousands of lives by more accurately identifying those at risk. It will also improve the quality of day-to-day life for many patients.”

“Once NICE has finalised their guidance, our key task will be to ensure that colleagues can easily implement QRisk within clinical practice and we are developing software that will make this possible.”

Dr David Stables, clinical director of EMIS and a director of QResearch, said: “This is a powerful example of how data captured in the process of caring for the individual patient can be used to improve healthcare for all.”

“It is also a tribute to the thousands of working GPs who freely contribute their data to QResearch; without their co-operation, projects like QRisk could not happen.”

The QRisk model is significantly different from the Framingham risk score in a number of key areas predicting that a smaller percentage of the population is at risk of CVD but critically that very different populations are at risk.

Specifically, it found that women and people living in deprived areas were at far greater risk than predicted by Framingham, which was based on a small US study from more than 30 years ago.

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