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Tool to predict ethnic heart disease risk

8th June 2006

Scientists believe that they may have developed a way of predicting heart disease risk in those from varying ethnic backgrounds.

Currently risk calculators are used to estimate a person's likelihood of stroke and heart attack over the next ten years so that preventative treatment can be offered.

However, a number of minority ethnic groups are being wrongly assessed on data from white populations.

A new risk calculator now adjusts scores from the previous calculator prediction on the basis of their ethnic background.

"It [the calculator] provides a much more realistic assessment of the risk of having heart disease and stroke within a ten-year period, faced by an individual from one of these groups," commented Dr Peter Brindle, lead author and fellow at Bristol University.

It is thought that the new tool will lead to better assessments of ethnic groups which are already at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.