Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be a leading cause of death. Accordingly, risk models attempt to predict an individual's probability of developing the disease. Risk models are incorporated into calculators to determine the risk for a number of clinical conditions, including the ten-year risk of developing CVD. There is significant variability in the published models in terms of how the clinical measurements are converted to risk factors as well as the specific population used to determine b-weights of these risk factors. Adding to model variability is the fact that numbers are an imperfect representation of a person's health status. Acknowledgment of uncertainty must be addressed for reliable clinical decision-making. This paper analyzes 35 published risk calculators and then generalizes them into one “Super Risk formula” to form a common basis for uncertainty calculations to determine the best risk model to use for an individual. Special error arithmetic, the duals method, is used to faithfully propagate error from model parameters, population averages and patient-specific clinical measures to one risk number and its relative uncertainty. A set of sample patients show that the “best model” is specific to the individual and no one model is appropriate for every patient.
The Uncertainty of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Calculation—What is the Best Risk Model for the Individual?
Manuscript received October 26, 2017; final manuscript received January 21, 2018; published online February 28, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Stavroula Balabani.
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LaFleur, R. S., and Goshko, L. S. (February 28, 2018). "The Uncertainty of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Calculation—What is the Best Risk Model for the Individual?." ASME. ASME J of Medical Diagnostics. May 2018; 1(2): 021005. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4039103
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