Intended for healthcare professionals


Heart risk scoring system used by NICE may overestimate lipid disorders

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 11 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3273
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    The scoring system recommended in national guidelines for assessing patients’ cardiovascular risk may overestimate the number of people in England who need treatment for lipid disorders and may be missing others, a new analysis indicates.

    Lipid modification guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which were published in May 2008, advise doctors to use a modified version of the Framingham algorithm to check patients’ 10 year cardiovascular risk and decide whether they need drug treatment to reduce raised cholesterol concentrations.

    But a new analysis by epidemiologists at the University of Oxford and commissioned by the Department of Health says that the choice of risk scoring system was based on “incorrect and severely misleading” findings ( The analysis, some of the results of …

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