The use of risk factors in clinical practice
Regardless of how risk factors (RF) affect the progression of atherosclerosis, they can be divided into 2 broad categories depending on their use in clinical practice:
(1) factors that are useful for risk prediction (risk predictors);
(2) factors that are targets for risk reduction interventions.
Such risk factors (RF), such as smoking and blood pressure, fall into both categories. Even if a particular factor has predictive value, it cannot be argued that modifying it will reduce the risk. If the benefit of an intervention is substantially greater than any of its risks and costs, then the intervention should be used in the appropriate population. So, how do you decide which risk factor (DF) to use as a predictor of risk and what will be the target for risk reduction?
The approaches to using a risk factor (RF) for predicting or reducing risk will be defined below. This article discusses only those risk factors (RF) that affect intermediate or long-term risk. Interventions used to quickly reduce short-term risk, such as aspirin or thrombolysis in acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Forecasting and risk assessment. Risk prediction can be applied both to the population as a whole and to the individual. Information about the population can be obtained by studying a representative population sample in order to establish the frequency of various risk factors (RF) and plan public health objectives and resources for screening programs.
Individual risk assessment is carried out in order to identify in the population of a separate part of individuals who need a more intensive risk reduction program.
The articles on the site will briefly describe the assessment of the risk factor (RF) and the frequency of events in the general population, and further – a detailed assessment of the individual risk.