The following question refers to Section 3.2 of the 2021 ESC CV Prevention Guidelines. The question is asked by CardioNerds Academy Intern, student Dr. Hirsh Elhence, answered first by Ohio State University Cardiology Fellow Dr. Alli Bigeh, and then by expert faculty Dr. Eugene Yang.
Dr. Yang is professor of medicine of the University of Washington where he is medical director of the Eastside Specialty Center and the co-Director of the Cardiovascular Wellness and Prevention Program. Dr. Yang is former Governor of the ACC Washington Chapter and current chair of the ACC Prevention of CVD Section.
The CardioNerds Decipher The Guidelines Series for the 2021 ESC CV Prevention Guidelines represents a collaboration with the ACC Prevention of CVD Section, the National Lipid Association, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.
True or False: A 70-year-old male has an estimated 10-year ASCVD risk (using SCORE2-OP) of 7.5% which confers a very high CVD risk and necessitates treatment with a statin.
FALSE – CVD risk thresholds for risk factor treatment are higher in apparently healthy people 70 years and older in order to prevent overtreatment in the elderly. A 10-year CVD risk ≥15% is considered “very high risk” for individuals ≥70 years of age (compared to a ≥7.5% cut-off for “very high risk” in younger patients <50 years old). For these patients, treatment of ASCVD risk factors, including lipid-lowering medications, is recommended (class IIb). Lifetime benefit of treatment in terms of time gained free of CVD is lower in older people. The SCORE2-OP algorithm estimates 5-year and 10-year fatal and non-fatal CVD events adjusted for competing risks of non-CVD mortality. Treatment and risk stratification should (as with all patients) be individualized.
For patient >70 years of age, a 10-year CVD risk of 7.5 to <15% is considered “high risk”, and treatment of risk factors should be considered taking CVD risk modifiers, frailty, lifetime treatment benefit, comorbidities, polypharmacy, and patient preference into account.
For patient >70 years of age, a 10-year CVD risk of <7.5 is considered “low-to-moderate risk” and would generally not qualify for risk factor treatment unless one or several risk modifiers are present.
Smoking cessation, lifestyle recommendations and a SBP <160 mmHg are recommended for all.