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Guidelines for the management of absolute CVD risk 2012


The first Australian Guidelines for the management of absolute cardiovascular disease risk are now available.

The guidelines incorporate and build on the previous NVDPA Guidelines for the assessment of absolute cardiovascular disease risk (2009), and consolidate a number of other evidence-based guidelines related to primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Absolute risk is the numerical probability of a cardiovascular event occurring within a five-year period. It reflects a person’s overall risk of CVD, as opposed to the traditional method that considers various risk factors, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, in isolation.

The guidelines make recommendations for assessing and managing absolute CVD risk in adults aged over 45 years (35 years for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander adults) who are without known CVD. Special sections providing advice on preventing CVD for those with diabetes and chronic kidney disease are included where relevant.

These guidelines are an important step as they provide a single preventive approach to first-ever CVD in Australia. Clinical decisions based on absolute risk can lead to improved health outcomes by identifying people most at risk and directing the right treatments to them.

The guidelines were developed by the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA). The guidelines were released in May 2012 after approval by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Guidelines and tools

Guidelines for the management of absolute cardiovascular disease risk 2012 (PDF 4.45 MB)

Quick reference guide for health professionals (PDF 2.13 MB)

10 things to know about the Guidelines for the management of absolute CVD risk 2012 (PDF 53.2 KB)

Online absolute CVD risk calculator

Absolute CVD risk management: Technical report (PDF 4.24 MB)

Absolute risk videos

Consumer resources

Manage your heart and stroke risk: A 3-step guide to better health (PDF 801 KB)