Absolute cardiovascular disease risk calculator
This Australian Absolute cardiovascular disease risk calculator has been produced by the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance for the information of health professionals. The statements and recommendations it contains are, unless labelled as ‘expert opinion’, based on independent review of the available evidence. Interpretation of the results of this calculator by those without appropriate medical and/or clinical training is not recommended, other than at the request of, or in consultation with, a relevant health professional.
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How do I use the NVDPA assessment calculator?
On the home page of this website you can use the calculator provided to measure absolute risk of having a CVD event within 5 years.
Enter a value for each variable listed on the calculator. These variables are:
Sex: Please indicate whether you are male or female (biological gender).
Age: Please enter the age in years. The calculator can be used for all Australian adults between the ages of 45-74 years. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the calculator can be used from 35 years. For those over the age of 74 years please enter an age of 74 which will provide the risk, expressed as a percentage % of having a CVD event in the next 5 years.
Systolic blood pressure: Please enter your systolic blood pressure. Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers, for example 120 over 80 (120/80 mmHg). The first number (120 in the example) is called systolic blood pressure. This indicates the pressure in the arteries as the heart squeezes blood out during each beat. In this calculator you can enter a systolic blood pressure value up to 179 mmHg (above this is considered as high risk and doesn’t need a calculation).
Smoking status: Please indicate whether you are a smoker. A smoker is defined as currently smoking or quit within the last year.
Total cholesterol: Please enter your total cholesterol level. There are different types of cholesterol in the human body. Your ‘total cholesterol’ reading is a value that adds together the different types of cholesterol in your body. In this calculator you can enter a cholesterol value up to 7.5 mmol/L (above this is considered as high risk and doesn’t need a calculation). When you get a blood test that includes your cholesterol, it will give you a reading for your total cholesterol level.
HDL cholesterol: Please enter your HDL cholesterol level. HDL cholesterol stands for High Density Lipoprotein cholesterol. This cholesterol is sometimes described as "good cholesterol" because higher levels of HDL appear to have a protective effect on heart disease, while lower levels of HDL increase the risk of getting heart disease. When you get a blood test that includes your cholesterol, it will give you a reading for your HDL cholesterol level.
Diabetes: Please indicate whether you have diabetes – it doesn’t matter what type. Diabetes increases the chances of getting heart disease. The World Health Organisation definition for the diagnosis of diabetes includes a fasting blood sugar of 7 mmol/L, or a 2-hour blood sugar reading of 11.1mmol/L.
ECG-LVH: Please indicate whether you have ECG-LVH. ECG-LVH stands for Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH) as diagnosed by an Echocardiogram (ECG). In the original cohort of Framingham, which this calculator is based on, it was found that those who had LVH had a higher risk of CVD. You can find out if you have LVH by visiting your doctor.
Once you have entered a value for each of the above variables click on ‘Go’. The number that comes up on the right-hand side of the screen is your absolute risk score. You can find out what this risk score means by going to the 'Your risk score' page on this website.
If you want to change one or more of your risk factors to see how they might affect your risk of CVD, click on ‘compare’ and change any of the variables. Then click ‘go’ to see the score compared with your first score.