No data are available on the comparison between an absolute 10-year risk of fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) morbidity using the risk assessments of the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) project. Data from the prospective Reykjavik Study of 15 782 patients were used to estimate the 10-year risk of fatal CVD and CHD morbidity in Iceland. Survival to fatal CVD event was defined as in the SCORE project. Survival to CHD morbidity was defined as having a myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass graft, or angioplasty. The statistical methodology of SCORE was used. Relative risk in Iceland was comparable with SCORE results but baseline risk was similar to the low-risk version of SCORE, which contradicted previous suggestions for the countries of northern Europe. Correlation between absolute risk of CHD morbidity and risk for fatal CVD was high (r = 0.96), resulting in similar ranking of individuals by risk and discriminatory capacity. This is the first published comparison between total fatal CVD risk and CHD morbidity in a population-based cohort using the current risk assessment guidelines of the European Societies on Coronary Prevention. Conclusions Risk for fatal CVD in Iceland has the same characteristics as those in a European nation with results varying in accordance with the SCORE project. The risk estimate to be used, CHD morbidity or fatal CVD, is a choice of clinical preference. The data, however, suggest that 5% high-risk threshold of fatal CVD corresponds to a 12% CH D-morbidity risk, which is a significant change from the conventional reference value of 20%.
This work was supported by the Icelandic Heart Association.