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About absolute risk

Absolute risk is your chance, as an individual, of getting cardiovascular disease (which includes all heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases). It can be hard to know whether you are at risk of getting cardiovascular disease, because sometimes you can’t feel any symptoms.

Risk factors, like blood pressure and cholesterol, work together to increase or decrease your overall chance of getting cardiovascular disease, and that we need to measure all of your risk factors together. The absolute risk calculator helps health professionals to consider multiple risk factors.

If you are 45+ years (or 30+ years for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people), the calculator can help your GP to calculate your absolute “heart and stroke” risk score. The score will indicate your chance of getting cardiovascular disease in the next five years, and your doctor can explain what it means and how you can take steps to reduce your risk. 

What does your risk score mean?

If your risk score was calculated to be more than 15%, you are thought to be at high risk of getting cardiovascular disease in the next five years. That means if everyone with a risk score of more than 15% was grouped together, about 1 in 7 would get cardiovascular disease within the next 5 years.

If your risk score is between 10—15%, you are thought to be at moderate risk of getting cardiovascular disease in the next five years. If your risk score is less than 10%, you are thought to be at low risk of getting cardiovascular disease in the next five years.

Whatever your risk score today, remember that it can change depending on what actions you take. The booklet Manage your heart and stroke risk may help you understand and reduce your risk. 

Go to calculator (via or find out more for health professionals

Note - the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance and its work has been incorporated into the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (ACDPA). All activities are being continued under ACDPA.

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