Risk calculators can be useful tools in the preventive care arsenal physicians use in assessing and treating patients for certain conditions. But calculators can achieve their full utility only if they are calibrated correctly and if patients have access to treatment strategies that truly minimize a risk.
Members of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) expert panels are considering these issues as they revise guidelines surrounding risk assessment and treatment strategies for cardiovascular health. The updated guidelines for cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity are scheduled to be ready for public review and comment in the spring of 2011, with an expected release that fall. The NHLBI ultimately hopes to combine these guidelines into one integrated cardiovascular risk reduction guideline.
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