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NICE considers ditching Framingham

NICE is delaying the release of its keenly anticipated lipid modification guidance to consider new evidence supporting replacement of the Framingham risk score.

In a letter to stakeholders last week, the institute revealed it was examining new research on the QRISK risk score claiming to show it is significantly better than Framingham.

The institute's guidance, due to be published in January 2008, is now likely to be delayed if the guideline development group decides to make ‘substantive changes' to its first draft, which stuck with the Framingham score.

NICE is under increasing pressure to ditch Framingham, with its leading adviser on cardiovascular risk management, Dr Peter Brindle, lobbying hard for QRISK, as reported by Pulse earlier this month.

Dr Brindle said he could not comment on the guideline development process, but one of his fellow advisers to NICE said QRISK was substantially better suited to the UK than Framingham.

Dr Tom Marshall, senior lecturer in public health at the University of Birmingham, said the UK-based QRISK was potentially a ‘significant advance'.

He added: ‘It is primary care data, so it is the real data that is used to predict heart disease and that means that it is much more relevant to the UK population than Framingham.'

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