Evaluation of the American Heart Association cardiovascular disease prevention guideline for women

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Aged; Algorithms; *American Heart Association; Cardiovascular Diseases; control; Chi-Square Distribution; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Life Style; Logistic Models; Middle Aged; *Practice Guidelines as Topic; Prognosis; Proportional Hazards Models; Prospective Studies; ROC Curve; Risk Assessment; Risk Factors; Sex Factors; Time Factors; United States; *Women's Health; *Women's Health Services


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Cardiovascular Diseases | Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Women's Health


BACKGROUND: The 2007 update to the American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention in women recommend a simplified approach to risk stratification. We assigned Women's Health Initiative participants to risk categories as described in the guideline and evaluated clinical event rates within and between strata.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The Women's Health Initiative enrolled 161 808 women ages 50 to 79 years and followed them prospectively for 7.8 years (mean). Applying the 2007 AHA guideline categories, 11% of women were high risk, 72% at-risk, and 4% at optimal risk; 13% of women did not fall into any category, that is, lacked risk factors but did not adhere to a healthy lifestyle (moderate intensity exercise for 30 minute most days and 20% (area under receiver operating characteristic curve for Framingham risk, 0.724; for AHA risk, 0.664; P<0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Risk stratification as proposed in the 2007 AHA guideline is simple, accessible to patients and providers, and identifies cardiovascular risk with accuracy similar to that of the current Framingham algorithm.

Clinical Trial Registration- clinicaltrials.gov. Identifier: NCT00000611.

DOI of Published Version



Hsia J, Rodabough RJ, Manson JE, Liu S, Freiberg MS, Graettinger W, Rosal MC, Cochrane B, Lloyd-Jones D, Robinson JG, Howard BV; Women's Health Initiative Research Group. Evaluation of the American Heart Association cardiovascular disease prevention guideline for women. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2010 Mar;3(2):128-34. doi: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.108.842385. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Circulation. Cardiovascular quality and outcomes

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID