How can you accurately assess a patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)? When do you decide to treat a patient’s blood pressure? What about younger patients with raised blood pressure, and what about the elderly? This article looks at CVD risk calculation and issues about hypertension treatment in general practice.
- The use of absolute risk calculations allows us to identify patients at high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk who will benefit most from antihypertensive treatment.
- Identify and treat all risk factors; the combined risk from multiple risk factors is greater than would be expected from simply adding them up, even if each risk factor is relatively minor.
- Recent trial evidence shows that intensive blood pressure control is beneficial, especially for groups at high CVD risk.
- Absolute risk charts are a useful source of information to help patients understand their CVD risk profile.
- Remember nonpharmacological approaches to reducing CVD risk: a structured plan may involve referral to other health professionals, with therapy tailored to the individual patient’s needs.