Back to Journals » Clinical Epidemiology » Volume 12

Estimation of Cardiovascular Risk from Self-Reported Knowledge of Risk Factors: Insights from the Minnesota Heart Survey

Authors Duval S, Van't Hof JR, Steffen LM, Luepker RV

Received 19 June 2019

Accepted for publication 25 November 2019

Published 14 January 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 41—49


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Vera Ehrenstein

Sue Duval, 1 Jeremy R Van’t Hof, 1 Lyn M Steffen, 2 Russell V Luepker 2

1Cardiovascular Division, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA; 2Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Correspondence: Sue Duval
Cardiovascular Division, University of Minnesota Medical School, 420 Delaware Street SE, MMC 508, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Tel +1612 624 3392
Fax +1612 626 4411

Background: Cost-effective primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) relies on accuracy of risk assessment. Current risk scores require clinical and laboratory measures, are expensive and are often difficult to apply in the population setting.
Objective: This study sought to estimate CVD risk from individuals’ knowledge of their own CVD risk factors and compare it to the risk calculated from measured risk factors.
Methods: Using the ACC/AHA Pooled Cohort Risk Equations (PCE), we calculated 10-year CVD risk for 9856 primary prevention individuals aged 40– 79 in the Minnesota Heart Survey (MHS). Using log-linear regression models, we estimated PCE risk from the individual’s self-reported knowledge of four dichotomous risk factors: hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and smoking. Age was included in all models, and models were developed separately in women and men. Model performance was assessed internally using leave-one-out cross-validation.
Results: The median measured PCE CVD risk in women was 2.1% (IQR: 0.8– 5.6%), and in men was 6.3% (3.1– 13.0%). Using the newly developed equations, the median estimated risk was 2.2% (0.9– 5.8%) in women, and 6.9% (3.2– 13.1%) in men. Using a threshold of 7.5% to categorize low and high risk, the novel risk calculation gave an accuracy of 95% for women and 87% for men compared to the measured PCE risk. The negative predictive value was 97% for women and 91% in men.
Conclusion: Self-reported knowledge of risk may be useful in the identification of individuals at low risk for CV events, however, should always be followed up with measurement of risk factors if symptoms or history suggest CVD.

Keywords: cardiovascular diseases, epidemiology, risk assessment, risk factors, self-report, survey

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]