Atherosclerotic heart disease and stroke remain the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention can improve the well-being of a population and possibly cut downstream healthcare spending, and must be the centerpiece of any sustainable health economy model. As lifestyle and CVD risk factors differ among ethnicities, cultures, genders, and age groups, an accurate risk assessment model is the critical first step for guiding appropriate use of testing, lifestyle counseling resources, and preventive medications. Examples of such models include the US Framingham Risk Score and the European SCORE system. The European Society of Cardiology recently published an updated set of guidelines on CVD prevention. This review highlights the similarities and differences between European and US risk assessment models, as well as their respective recommendations on the use of advanced testing for further risk reclassification and the appropriate use of medications. In particular, we focus on head-to-head comparison of the new European guideline with prior American Heart Association statements (2002, 2010, and 2011) covering risk assessment and treatment of asymptomatic adults. Despite minor disagreements on the weight of recommendations in certain areas, such as the use of coronary calcium score and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in risk assessment, CVD prevention experts across the 2 continents agree on 1 thing: prevention works in halting the progression of atherosclerosis and decreasing disease burden over a lifetime.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine