Cardiovascular Risk Assessment

Many risk factors for heart attack and stroke can be modified so a checkup is worthwhile.

When should I screen?

The following table outlines the ages that patients should consider seeing us to assess their cardiovascular risk. Patients with the risk factors listed below should assess their personal risk at an earlier age than those who have no risk factors.

Risk factors for premature cardiovascular disease include but are not limited to:

  • some medical conditions.

  • certain ethnicities.

  • a history of significant mental illness.

  • a family history of premature heart disease or stroke.

Please make sure we are aware of your family history and have an accurate record of your ethnicity. As a rule of thumb screening for disease in those at higher risk, should start 10 years prior to the age that your relatives’ problems were diagnosed or your age group recommendations if this is uncertain. Recommended assessment ages for low and high-risk groups are outlined in the table below. Please make an appointment to see us if you have any concerns.

Assessment Ages for Population Subgroups

Population Subgroup Age to start screening
Age to start screening
Individuals without known risk factors 45 years 55 years
Maori, Pacific peoples or South-Asian* peoples
*India, including Fijian
Indian, Sri Lankan, Afghani, Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Pakistani, Tibetan.
30 years
40 years
People with other known cardiovascular risk factors or at high risk of developing
diabetes e.g.

Family history risk factors:

-Diabetes in first-degree relative parent, brother or sister.
-Hospitalisation for or death from heart attack or stroke in a first-degree
relative before the age of 50 years (father or brother, mother or sister).
-Familial hypercholesterolemia.

Personal history risk factors:

-Smokers or ex-smokers.
-Gestational diabete.
-HbA1c 41-49 mmol/mol.
-BMI more than 30 or truncal obesity (waist circumference more than 102 cm
in men or > 88 cm in women)
-Kidney disease.
-Heart rhythm problems.
35 years

Annual review
45 years

Annual review
People with diabetes (type 1 or 2) From the time of diagnosis.
Annual review
From the time of diagnosis.
Annual review
People with severe mental illness e.g.:
schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder
25 years - annual review 25 years - annual review