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GLOBORISK | New tool helps chart risk of heart attack, stroke

PARIS -- Over the age of 40? Want to know your risk of suffering a fatal heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years? Read on.

A new instrument dubbed Globorisk, unveiled Thursday, will allow you to determine your risk simply by inputting your age, gender, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, whether you have diabetes or smoke, and which country you live in, its developers say.

It is hoped such self-scrutiny can spark important lifestyle changes among those at risk, said Globorisk's creators, as well as identifying people who may benefit from preventive drug treatment.

"A risk of about four or five percent on the chart for fatal cardiovascular disease starts becoming high," lead author Goodarz Danaei of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, told AFP, and risks greater than 10 percent should "definitely be taken seriously."

The research was published in the medical journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, with eight ready-made charts for people in China, Denmark, England, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain and the United States to measure their risk. 

For the first time, the method used to create the tables can be recalibrated for any country in the world using readily-available national health statistics, said Danaei.

Globorisk, which used data from eight other large, long-term studies with over 50,000 participants in total, is meant to have charts for all the world's nations "in a few months".

It will ultimately have its own interactive webpage on which individuals from any country can look up their risk -- what Danaei described as "the best guess of the likelihood" of a fatal cardiovascular event in the coming decade.

In the meantime, the eight charts already prepared can be studied at:

By: Agence France-Presse

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