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Integration of absolute cardiovascular disease risk assessment into routine blood cholesterol testing at pathology services


Chapman, N and Fonseca, R and Murfett, L and Beazley, K and McWhirter, RE and Schultz, MG and Nelson, MR and Sharman, JE, Integration of absolute cardiovascular disease risk assessment into routine blood cholesterol testing at pathology services, Family Practice, 37, (5) pp. 675-681. ISSN 0263-2136 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1093/fampra/cmaa034


Background: Absolute cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment is recommended for primary prevention of CVD, yet uptake in general practice is limited. Cholesterol requests at pathology services provide an opportunity to improve uptake by integrating absolute CVD risk assessment with this service.

Objective: This study aimed to assess the feasibility of such an additional service.

Methods: Two-hundred and ninety-nine patients (45-74 years) referred to pathology services for blood cholesterol had measurement of all variables required to determine absolute CVD risk according to Framingham calculator (blood pressure, age, sex, smoking and diabetes status via self-report). Data were recorded via computer-based application. The absolute risk score was communicated via the report sent to the referring medical practitioner as per usual practice. Evaluation questionnaires were completed immediately post visit and at 1-, 3- and 6-month follow-up via telephone (n = 262).

Results: Absolute CVD risk reports were issued for 90% of patients. Most patients (95%) reported that the length of time for the pathology service assessment was acceptable, and 91% that the self-directed computer-based application was easy to use. Seventy-eight per cent reported a preference for pathology services to conduct absolute CVD risk assessment. Only 2% preferred a medical practitioner. Of follow-up patients, 202 (75%) had a consultation with a medical practitioner, during which, aspects of CVD risk prevention were discussed (cholesterol and blood pressure 74% and 69% of the time, respectively).

Conclusions: Measurement of absolute CVD risk in pathology services is feasible, highly acceptable among middle-to-older adults and may increase uptake of guideline-directed care in general practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:community medicine, lipids, prevention, primary care, risk assessment, screening
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Chapman, N (Miss Niamh Chapman)
UTAS Author:Fonseca, R (Mr Ricardo Fonseca Diaz)
UTAS Author:McWhirter, RE (Dr Rebekah McWhirter)
UTAS Author:Schultz, MG (Dr Martin Schultz)
UTAS Author:Nelson, MR (Professor Mark Nelson)
UTAS Author:Sharman, JE (Professor James Sharman)
ID Code:138687
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-04-21
Last Modified:2021-04-21

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