Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

The Dundee coronary risk-disk for management of change in risk factors.

British Medical Journal 1991; 303 doi: (Published 28 September 1991) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1991;303:744
  1. H Tunstall-Pedoe
  1. Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee.


    OBJECTIVE--To devise a simplified system for grading and monitoring modifiable coronary risk in primary care, to be used with an action plan. METHODS--The risk equation came from 5203 men aged 40-59 in the United Kingdom heart disease prevention project, who had 331 coronary events over five years; the population rank (reading 1-100) was obtained by scoring 10,359 participants in the Scottish heart health study. Calculation of rank was embodied in the Dundee coronary risk-disk; the formula was tested against the Whitehall study; disk and action plan were evaluated in primary care. RESULTS--The system measures modifiable coronary risk from smoking, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol concentration by a sex and age related rank running from 1 (high risk, priority action) to 100 (low risk, general advice). The formula predicted outcome acceptably in the Whitehall study and is built into a circular slide rule. Only eight (11%) of 76 general practitioners and practice nurses surveyed already used risk factor scores. After evaluation most thought they should use one and proposed to incorporate the Dundee coronary risk-disk and the associated action plan into their routines. CONCLUSION--The Dundee coronary risk-disk readout of Dundee rank, standardised on a scale of 1 to 100 by age and sex, is a simple, valid means of assessing and monitoring modifiable coronary risk. It puts single risk factors (such as cholesterol concentration) in perspective and can aid selective testing. Understood by medical staff and patients, it should improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the high risk approach to coronary prevention.