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Pharmaceuticals / Postmarket Safety

Heart Disease Equations May Have Led to Over-Estimates of Risk

June 13, 2018

Pooled cohort equations may have overstated American’s risk of heart disease—especially for African-Americans, a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine argues.

The equations have been used since 2013 to estimate patients’ 10-year risk of heart disease.  But a team of researchers based at Stanford University found that risks were being overstated by at least 20 percent for all Americans.

The overestimation was “particularly prominent” for African-Americans, whose risks were overstated by 33 percent, the researchers wrote. Adding data from modern cohorts to the equations meant that some 11.8 million Americans who would otherwise be labelled as high risk for heart disease would be given a lower risk rating, the researchers found.

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