Good Performance for Universal CVD Risk Prediction Model


  • Researchers used different models to evaluate whether established CVD predictors, including age, sex, race, diabetes, systolic blood pressure, or smoking, are associated with major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs), including myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and heart failure (HF), among 9138 patients, mean age 63.8 years, in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.
  • Of these, 609 had ASCVD (history of MI, ischemic stroke, or symptomatic peripheral artery disease) and 8529 did not.
  • They extended their exploration to other predictors available in clinical practice, including family history of premature ASCVD, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, lipoprotein(a), triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B, as well as predictors of HF such as body mass index and heart rate and blood-based cardiac biomarkers.
  • An external validation analysis included 5322 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
  • Over a median follow-up of 18.9 years, 3209 ARIC participants (35%) developed MACE for an incidence rate per 1000 person-years of 21.3 for MACE, 12.6 for MI/stroke, and 13.8 for HF.


  • Of all candidate predictors, 10 variables (including established predictors and cardiac biomarkers) were included in the universal prediction model, which demonstrated good calibration in both those with ASCVD (hazard ratio [HR] C-statistic, 0.692; 95% CI, 0.650-0.735) and without ASCVD (HR C-statistic, 0.748; 95% CI, 0.726-0.770).
  • As anticipated, the risk for MACE was generally lower in those with no prior ASCVD, but the 5-year risk in the highest quintile of predicted risk in those without ASCVD was higher than that in the lowest two quintiles of the ASCVD group.
  • The universal risk prediction model was validated in the MESA community–based cohort; over a median follow-up of 13.7 years, 12% of participants with and without prior ASCVD developed MACE for an incidence rate per 1000 person-years of 10.2 for MACE, 7.4 for MI/stroke, and 4.3 for HF.
  • The results were generally similar when examining individual outcomes (MI/stroke and HF) and for both no ASCVD and ASCVD groups across demographic subgroups by age, sex, and race.


The findings "support the importance of established predictors for classifying long-term CVD risk in both primary and secondary prevention settings," the authors wrote, adding an advantage to this risk prediction approach could be to help providers and patients "further personalize secondary prevention."