Assessing your risk of cardiovascular disease

Assessing your risk of cardiovascular disease

Your GP surgery should have a plan to identify people who do not already have cardiovascular disease but who may be at high risk of developing it. They should do this by checking risk factors in medical records such as family history of premature cardiovascular disease. If you are aged over 40, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease should be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

If these checks suggest that you have a 1 in 10 (10%) or greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years, you should be offered a full risk assessment. Your GP or nurse should discuss this with you.

Having a risk assessment

If you agree to a full risk assessment, your GP or nurse should use the computer program QRISK2 to estimate your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This will take into account:

  • your age

  • your sex

  • whether you smoke

  • your blood pressure

  • your cholesterol level.

Some medical conditions or medication can affect your risk score, and your GP should take this into account.

QRISK2 shouldn't be used to assess your risk if:

  • you have type 1 diabetes

  • you have a GFR (or glomerular filtration rate) less than 60 (this shows how well your kidneys are working)

  • you have had cardiovascular disease before

  • you have an inherited form of high cholesterol.

Your GP or nurse may take a blood sample to measure your cholesterol levels if these are not already known. Iftheselevels and your family history suggest that you have an inherited form of high cholesterol, you may need more tests or referral for specialist care. Any other possible causes (such as excess alcohol or uncontrolled diabetes) should be ruled out before you are referred to a specialist.

See Other NICE guidance for details of our guidance on inherited high cholesterol in the family (familial hypercholesterolaemia).

  • Information Standard