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A new risk score to predict risk of developing cardiovascular disease for the UK

What is the aim of the study and why is it important?

To develop and validate updated prediction algorithms to estimate the 10 year risk of cardiovascular disease in women and men accounting for new and established cardiovascular risk factors which can continue to be continually updated.

Chief Investigator

Julia Hippisley-Cox



Location of research


Date on which research approved


Project reference ID


Generic ethics approval reference


Are all data accessed are in anonymised form?


Brief summary of the dataset to be released (including any sensitive data)

GP data for risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) linked to outcomes for CVD recorded on either GP, hospital or mortality data.

What were the main findings?

The first algorithm developed in 2007 was the QRisk tool, designed to estimate cardiovascular risk over 10 years. Prior to this an algorithm developed in the US based on a small unrepresentative cohort was used to assess cardiovascular risk in the UK and target high risk individuals for treatment. The QRisk model has been updated to account for time trends and to include additional risk factors. In 2017, we published a major update - QRISK3 (www.qrisk.org/three/) – this risk algorithm is now the first cardiovascular risk algorithm to include major risk factors such as serious mental illness, atypical antipsychotics, migraine, corticosteroids and blood pressure variability. A total of 981 practices with 7.89 million patients in the UK were used to develop this risk model and 328 practices with 2.67 million patients were used to validate the scores.

Implications and Impact

QRisk is central to policy guidance such as NHS Health checks, which are free health checks offered to people aged 40-74 in England. The QRISK lifetime version of the tool is used by Public Health England on its NHS Choices websitek to estimate heart age; by September 2017 it had been used by 3 million people. This was widely publicised by Public Health England in September 2018, with extensive media coverage.

Funding Source

No external funding

Research Team

Julia Hippisley-Cox, Carol Coupland, Peter Brindle


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