Pan American Health Organization commissioned GEDIC and Pixeloide Studios for the development of this application It is entirely based on the formula that the World Health Organization propose for estimating cardiovascular risk in Latin America, zone AMR-B. (2007 – ISBN: 978 92 4 154717 8). This risk assessment score takes into account various regional adaptations based on the findings of Framingham study.
Choice of language and of cholesterol an metric units
By selecting the gear icon you can change the language (English or Spanish), the units of cholesterol (mmol/l or mg/dl), and the metric units (decimal or imperial cm in feet and inches)
Initial calculation of individual risk
It is very easy to use. By entering in six different criteria about the individual and selecting the option “calculate,” the approximate risk of developing significant cardiovascular diseases in the next 10 years is calculated (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, stroke).
It is considered low risk to show an incidence rate less than 10% in 10 years, or less than 1% a year. Another way to interpret these results is that 1 out of 100 people in this situation is at risk each year; 10 people in a decade. On the other extreme, very high risk would be more than 40% in the next 10 years, indicating that of 100 people, 4 will suffer from cardiovascular disease per year, and 40 will show signs in the next 10 years; almost 1 out of 2.
The calculator is more precise when cholesterol levels are introduced, however it allows for calculation without this number- if it is not available.
What would happen if...
Once the risk estimate is obtained, it evaluates different ways that it can be modified by correcting factors such as tobacco use, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It is considered ideal not to smoke, to have blood pressure lower than 140/90 and cholesterol levels under 200. Through this calculation, the users can see how quitting smoking lowers their risk by half, or that by changing any one of those 3 factors the estimated risk shifts from very high to very low, demonstrating how one can influence their outcome. Age and sex cannot be modified, and although diabetes is entered in as part of the analysis, it is not based on blood sugar levels or other criteria.
Validation of this application
We created an algorithm that replicates the use of the classic color charts. The validation process took place in different phases. For the current version, 100 random cases were independently compiled and classified independently by a group of doctors and technicians, using the calculator and the form. Next, the discrepancies were analyzed. Of the 100 cases, total concordance was found after correcting a typing error in the calculator and 4 classification errors in the color chart. This gives us the certainty that the algorithm reflects the exact use of the classic charts and facilitates the estimation of risk and the eventual benefits of making improvement. Nevertheless, we welcome any detection of unexpected errors.