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Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2010 Oct;17(5):549-55. doi: 10.1097/HJR.0b013e3283386419.

Cardiovascular risk scores in the prediction of subclinical atherosclerosis in young adults: evidence from the cardiovascular risk in a young Finns study.

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  • 1Research Center of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital dFinnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.



To study the utility of risk scores in the prediction of subclinical atherosclerosis in young adults.


Participants were 2204 healthy Finnish adults aged 24-39 years in 2001 from a population-based follow-up study Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns. We examined the performance of the Framingham, Reynolds, Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE), PROCAM, and Finrisk cardiovascular risk scores to predict subclinical atherosclerosis, that is carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) and plaque, carotid artery distensibility (CDist), and brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) 6 years later. In a 6-year prediction of high IMT (highest decile or plaque), areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) for baseline Finrisk (0.733), SCORE (0.726), PROCAM (0.712), and Reynolds (0.729) risk scores were similar as for Framingham risk score (0.728, P always ≥0.15). All risk scores had a similar discrimination in predicting low CDist (lowest decile) (0.652, 0.642, 0.639, 0.658, 0.652 respectively, P always ≥0.41). In the prediction of low FMD (lowest decile), Finrisk, PROCAM, Reynolds, and Framingham scores had similar AUCs (0.578, 0.594, 0.582, 0.568, P always ≥0.08) and SCORE discriminated slightly better (AUC=0.596, P<0.05). The prediction of subclinical outcomes was consistent when estimated from other statistical measures of discrimination, reclassification, and calibration.


Cardiovascular disease risk scores had equal value in predicting subclinical atherosclerosis measured by IMT and CDist in young adults. SCORE was more accurate in predicting low FMD than Framingham risk score.

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