The 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines introduced a prediction model and lowered the threshold for treatment with statins to a 7.5% 10-year hard atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk. Implications of the new guideline’s threshold and model have not been addressed in non-US populations or compared with previous guidelines.
To determine population-wide implications of the ACC/AHA, the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP-III), and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines using a cohort of Dutch individuals aged 55 years or older.
Design, Setting, and Participants
We included 4854 Rotterdam Study participants recruited in 1997-2001. We calculated 10-year risks for “hard” ASCVD events (including fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease [CHD] and stroke) (ACC/AHA), hard CHD events (fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction, CHD mortality) (ATP-III), and atherosclerotic CVD mortality (ESC).
Main Outcomes and Measures
Events were assessed until January 1, 2012. Per guideline, we calculated proportions of individuals for whom statins would be recommended and determined calibration and discrimination of risk models.
The mean age was 65.5 (SD, 5.2) years. Statins would be recommended for 96.4% (95% CI, 95.4%-97.1%; n = 1825) of men and 65.8% (95% CI, 63.8%-67.7%; n = 1523) of women by the ACC/AHA, 52.0% (95% CI, 49.8%-54.3%; n = 985) of men and 35.5% (95% CI, 33.5%-37.5%; n = 821) of women by the ATP-III, and 66.1% (95% CI, 64.0%-68.3%; n = 1253) of men and 39.1% (95% CI, 37.1%-41.2%; n = 906) of women by ESC guidelines. With the ACC/AHA model, average predicted risk vs observed cumulative incidence of hard ASCVD events was 21.5% (95% CI, 20.9%-22.1%) vs 12.7% (95% CI, 11.1%-14.5%) for men (192 events) and 11.6% (95% CI, 11.2%-12.0%) vs 7.9% (95% CI, 6.7%-9.2%) for women (151 events). Similar overestimation occurred with the ATP-III model (98 events in men and 62 events in women) and ESC model (50 events in men and 37 events in women). The C statistic was 0.67 (95% CI, 0.63-0.71) in men and 0.68 (95% CI, 0.64-0.73) in women for hard ASCVD (ACC/AHA), 0.67 (95% CI, 0.62-0.72) in men and 0.69 (95% CI, 0.63-0.75) in women for hard CHD (ATP-III), and 0.76 (95% CI, 0.70-0.82) in men and 0.77 (95% CI, 0.71-0.83) in women for CVD mortality (ESC).
Conclusions and Relevance
In this European population aged 55 years or older, proportions of individuals eligible for statins differed substantially among the guidelines. The ACC/AHA guideline would recommend statins for nearly all men and two-thirds of women, proportions exceeding those with the ATP-III or ESC guidelines. All 3 risk models provided poor calibration and moderate to good discrimination. Improving risk predictions and setting appropriate population-wide thresholds are necessary to facilitate better clinical decision making.