The European guidelines on cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention advise use of relative risk and risk age algorithms for estimating CVD risk in patients with low estimated absolute risk. Patients with inflammatory joint diseases (IJD) are associated with increased risk of CVD. We aimed to estimate relative risk and risk age across IJD entities and evaluate the agreement between 'cardiovascular risk age' and 'vascular age models'.
Using cross-sectional data from a nationwide project on CVD risk assessment in IJD, risk age estimations were performed in patients with low/moderate absolute risk of fatal CVD. Risk age was calculated according to the cardiovascular risk age and vascular age model, and risk age estimations were compared using regression analysis and calculating percentage of risk age estimations differing =5years.
Relative risk was increased in 53% and 20% had three times or higher risk compared to individuals with optimal CVD risk factor levels. Furthermore, 20-42% had a risk age =5years higher than their actual age, according to the specific risk age model. There were only minor differences between IJD entities regarding relative risk and risk age. Discrepancies =5years in estimated risk age were observed in 14-43% of patients. The largest observed difference in calculated risk age was 24years.
In patients with low estimated absolute risk, estimation of relative CVD risk and risk age may identify additional patients at need of intensive CVD preventive efforts. However, there is a substantial discrepancy between the risk age models.