Authors’ response to the letter “Concerning The HEARTS app: a clinical tool for cardiovascular risk and hypertension management in primary health care”
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Dear editor, Thanks for the opportunity to reply to the letter from Muñoz Laguna J and Banegas JR (1) regarding the HEARTS app (2). First, the risk score used in the HEARTS app is utterly based on the World Health Organization Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Risk Chart Working Group study. It is, so far, the most updated, robust, and accessible CVD risk charts for the low-middle income countries globally (3). Indeed, these risk models were first derived in well-established international cohorts with baseline information on all the risk factor variables for the prediction models, had at least one year of follow-up, and provided detailed information on cause-specific mortality and non-fatal CVD events. Moreover, for the recalibration of the models, age and sex-specific incidences of myocardial infarction and stroke from each of the 21 global regions defined by the Global Burden of Disease were used. This was further completed by averaging country-specific risk factor values from the Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factor Collaboration. Therefore, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) regional data was used for calibration if not for the initial derivation models due to the lack of available cohort information from this Region at the study time. Finally, the models underwent external validation using individual participant data from 19 other cohorts. Although these countries did not include any from LAC, the external validation results were robust with good C indices. When available and well-established, prediction models using data from the Region may improve the score over time. The risk prediction models in the future could be further calibrated and revised according to country-specific CVD incidence. In summary, the WHO prediction models used by the HEARTS app offer a simple and reliable estimate for risk estimation for the time being. To read the complete letter, please download the manuscript using the link on the left.
Ordunez P, Tajer C, Gaziano T, Rodriguez YA, Rosende A and Jaffe MG. Authors’ response to the letter Concerning The HEARTS app: a clinical tool for cardiovascular risk and hypertension management in primary health care”. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2022;46:e91. https://doi.org/10.26633/RPSP.2022.91
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