The role of dietary assessment in the performance of Cardiovascular Disease risk estimation models: Review

Ekavi Georgousopoulou, Georgios Georgiopoulos



Background: Risk prediction scores have received much attention the past years in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Based on easily assessed characteristics, like age, sex, smoking habits, blood pressure and lipids’ levels, the risk for a future CVD event is calculated, and public health professionals may identify people at high risk. Objectives: Although diet has been independently associated with CVD risk, its role in the accuracy of the developed scores has rarely been studied. Thus, in this review, the role of dietary patterns’ assessment on the predictive ability of CVD risk scores was critically discussed. Methods: A computer-assisted literature search in relevant databases (Pubmed, Scopus) retrieved 13 studies that were published in English from 1994 until January 2013, and evaluated dietary patterns in relation to CVD risk. Results: Only one out of the 13 studies evaluated the role of dietary patterns’ on the accuracy of the developed CVD risk scores. The inclusion of dietary habits improved the accuracy of risk prediction by 37%. Conclusions: There is a need for separately evaluating the role of diet in the accuracy of CVD risk prediction scores, in order to better understand its role in correctly identifying the potential candidate for CVD event, and in the eventual case of favorable results, for developing more accurate CVD risk scores through the addition of an inexpensive predictor, that of dietary habits.

Keywords: diet, dietary pattern, cardiovascular disease, risk, score, model, estimation, accuracy