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British Cardiovascular Society

Clinical Articles, Lead Article

JBS3 – new lifetime risk measure to predict heart disease

People could live healthier and longer lives if doctors assessed a patient’s risk of evolving cardiovascular disease (CVD) over the course of their lifetime, according to a report from the Joint British Societies Consensus Recommendations on the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (JBS3), published recently in Heart.1

By only using short term estimates, the long term health consequences of modifiable risk factors are overlooked, even if a person is placed at a high lifetime risk, the report says. Evidence shows that early lifestyle interventions and, where necessary, drug treatment can modify disease evolution and the risk of future CVD events.

The key feature of the JBS3 is an innovative risk calculator: a web-based interactive tool, health professionals can use with patients to help communicate their longer term CVD risk. The calculator also shows the extra years of healthier life people could gain by implementing interventions, whether these are lifestyle or pharmacological.

Dr Iain Simpson (British Cardiovascular Society President)

Dr Iain Simpson (British Cardiovascular Society President)

Novel metrics such as ‘heart age’ and CVD-event-free survival are displayed together with more traditional 10-year risk. The aim of the JBS3 risk calculator is to empower individuals and help patients understand why they should start reducing their risk of CVD, when they should start, and what they should do. It also emphasises the need for long-term maintenance of risk factor lowering to have the greatest influence on CVD risk over lifetime.

Dr Iain A Simpson, British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) President said: “By only using short term risk estimates, which are heavily dependent on age and gender, younger people and women tend to be overlooked even if they have substantially elevated modifiable risk factors and are consequently at high lifetime risk. Evidence shows that early lifestyle interventions and, where necessary, drug treatment can modify disease evolution and the risk of future CVD events. This change to ‘lifetime risk’ represents an opportunity for investment in future cardiovascular health.”

JBS3 Chair Professor John Deanfield, British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “JBS3 takes a personalised lifetime approach to cardiovascular risk. It is about lifestyle and if they are needed, getting medication to the right people at the right time”.

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, said: “Under the previous guidelines, we only started conversations with people about preventing disease after they’d significantly raised their risk. By taking this new life-time approach, GPs and primary care professionals will be able to better identify people who will benefit from prevention advice.”

Below is an example of a screen from the Risk Calculator showing the benefits to a patient from interventions which might be achieved with only lifestyle modifications.

For more information, please visit http://www.jbs3risk.com

References

1. JBS3 Board. Joint British Societies’ consensus recommendations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (JBS3). Heart 2014;100:ii1–ii67. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2014-305693

Published on: March 28, 2014

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