Usher Institute

New tool developed to enhance cardiovascular disease risk prediction

A collaborative study introduces QR4, a precise tool forecasting cardiovascular risks, highlighting new risk factors.

Research led by the University of Oxford, in collaboration with Usher Institute’s Director Sir Aziz Sheikh, and researchers from King’s College London and University of Bristol, has developed a new tool called QR4. This tool more accurately predicts an individual's 10-year risk of cardiovascular diseases, particularly identifying high-risk patients missed by current prediction tools. The research was recently published in Nature Medicine.

This innovative tool, likened to a sophisticated calculator, integrates crucial health data such as blood pressure, age, and medical history to predict an individual’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the next decade. QR4 incorporates new risk factors applicable to all adults, shedding light on previously overlooked contributors to heart health. The algorithm also unveiled gender-specific risk factors for women, such as high blood pressure complications during pregnancy and postnatal depression, emphasising the intricate connection between mental health, genetics, and heart health.

Researchers hope that clinicians, advisory bodies, regulators, and health and care policymakers consider the implications of QR4’s advanced predictive capabilities on national health guidelines and support its adoption in clinical settings to improve cardiovascular health outcomes.

Cite as

Hippisley-Cox, J., Coupland, C.A.C., Bafadhel, M. et al. Development and validation of a new algorithm for improved cardiovascular risk prediction. Nature Medicine (2024).

Further information

Read the full paper

Read University of Oxford’s news story

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