ACC, AHA release heart disease and stroke risk app

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have announced a mobile and web-based app for healthcare professionals to use with their patients in determining risk for developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), a major cause of heart attack and ischemic stroke.

The ASCVD Risk Estimator, a mobile and web version of the Excel-based calculator released with the ACC/AHA Cardiovascular Risk Guideline from November 2013, uses a patient's age, sex, race, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, blood pressure-lowering medication use, diabetes status and smoking status to estimate their 10-year and lifetime risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke. 

The app also helps healthcare professionals determine whether statin therapy is appropriate, what intensity of statin therapy is needed, how to address safety concerns of statin therapy and lifestyle changes needed. The ASCVD Risk Estimator mobile app can be downloaded for free from the iTunes and Google Play app stores.

The announcement from ACC and AHA is timely. February is designated American Heart Month, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. An estimated 630,000 Americans die each year from heart disease.

Results of a study presented in May at AHA's 2013 Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions found an experimental, inexpensive iPhone app transmitted electrocardiogram images faster and more reliably than traditional emailed photo transmission. The app could help save lives by speeding treatment for the deadliest type of heart attack, known as STEMI (ST segment elevation myocardial infarction), in which a clot blocks blood flow to the heart.

To learn more:
- read the announcement