Background-National guidelines for primary prevention suggest consideration of lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease in addition to 10-year risk, but it is currently unknown how many US adults would be identified as having low short-term but high lifetime predicted risk if stepwise stratification were used. Methods and Results-We included 6329 cardiovascular disease-free and nonpregnant individuals ages 20 to 79 years, representing approximately 156 million US adults, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2004 and 2005 to 2006. We assigned 10-year and lifetime predicted risks to stratify participants into 3 groups: low 10-year (<10%)/low lifetime (<39%) predicted risk, low 10-year (<10%)/high lifetime (≥39%) predicted risk, and high 10-year (≥10%) predicted risk or diagnosed diabetes. The majority of US adults (56%, or 87 million individuals) are at low short-term but high lifetime predicted risk for cardiovascular disease. Twenty-six percent (41 million adults) are at low short-term and low lifetime predicted risk, and only 18% (28 million individuals) are at high short-term predicted risk. The addition of lifetime risk estimation to 10-year risk estimation identifies higher-risk women and younger men in particular. Conclusions-Whereas 82% of US adults are at low short-term risk, two thirds of this group, or 87 million people, are at high lifetime predicted risk for cardiovascular disease. These results provide support for use of a stepwise stratification system aimed at improving risk communication, and they provide a baseline for public health efforts aimed at increasing the proportion of Americans with low short-term and low lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Coronary disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine