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Heart attack risk: Framingham risk score vs. Reynolds risk score

May 01, 2007

BOSTON — For about 10 years, the Framingham risk score has been used to estimate a person’s chances of having a heart attack based on just six bits of information — age, sex, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, smoking status, and systolic blood pressure. Doctors know what to recommend for people whose scores indicate high or low risk. But it’s less clear what to do with those in the middle.

Framingham Risk Score

Over the years, researchers have experimented with adding additional risk factors to the formula to try to narrow the grey zone of mid-range results. Now, after testing three dozen separate risk factors, Harvard researchers have found that adding just two — a measurement of C-reactive protein and whether a parent had a heart attack before age 60—to the Framingham model made the resulting predictions even more accurate, reports the May 2007 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter.

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