Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death for women and men in the United States. Because half of first major coronary events occur in asymptomatic individuals,1 clinicians who want to implement appropriate primary prevention therapy must be able to accurately identify “at risk” individuals. The third National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP-III) guidelines2 recommend that all adults should undergo an office-based assessment to evaluate risk of a CHD event based on the Framingham risk score. This prediction algorithm incorporates age, levels of total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), smoking status, and systolic blood pressure to estimate a 10-year risk for developing a myocardial infarction or death due to CHD.2
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