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Predicting individual effect of medication on cardiovascular diseases

The UMC Utrecht's Center for Circulatory Health has developed algorithms with which the risk of cardiovascular disease can be predicted for every adult.U-Prevent predicts both the risk of cardiovascular disease and the effect of medication to reduce this risk.Using calculating tools, doctors can calculate the risk of cardiovascular disease for healthy people, for cardiovascular patients, for diabetes patients, and for elderly people aged 70 and over.The result for these groups of patients:more effective prevention of cardiovascular disease by customized medication, decisions taken with the physician in the consulting room, and cost efficiency for healthcare as a whole.

On the U-Prevent website, GPs, specialists and patients can calculate the risk of cardiovascular disease for individual patients. The physician fills in measurable data such as age, gender, blood pressure, cholesterol level and any medication a person uses. Physician and patient can then see the effect of medication and how many disease-free years this will generate. This allows patient and physician to decide together, in the consulting room, whether to start or stop taking medication. Judith Tjin-A-Ton is a GP specialized in cardiovascular diseases: "U-Prevent is a practical tool that helps healthcare practitioners communicate clearly about the risk for the individual patient. Based on the estimate, patients can decide on therapy/treatment objectives together with their physician/nurse. The website is understandable for practitioner and patient alike and has the potential of truly improving the quality of information."

Effect on individual patient 

U-Prevent has been developed by UMC Utrecht internist and professor of vascular medicine Frank Visseren and Jannick Dorresteijn, internist-vascular physician in training. Frank Visseren: "The world over, a lot of people use hypertensive and cholesterol-lowering drugs or anticoagulants to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Research has shown that, on average, this medication is very effective. However, it does not have the same effect on everyone. U-Prevent enables us to calculate the optimum medication for every individual patient." 

Effect of treatment with life-long use

U-Prevent can be used to calculate the effect of treatment with life-long use. "The calculating tool predicts the number of additional years without cardiovascular disease a person may have as a result of preventive treatment," explains Dorresteijn. U-Prevent is based on data from over 700,000 patients in the Netherlands and abroad. These data have been collated by the Utrecht researchers in international collaboration with research groups, and with financial support from the Hartstichting, Medcon International and ZonMw. This collection of big data has been used to develop smart calculation models.

Online calculating tool 

The free U-Prevent tool is accessible anywhere in the world via www.U-Prevent.com. UMC Utrecht expects that GPs, specialists and patients in Europe and Northern America will start using the website shortly to calculate the risk of cardiovascular diseases and the life-long treatment effect for individual patients. Physician-researcher Nicole Jasper received international recognition in the form of the prestigious Young Investigators Award at the international ESC congress in Munich for her research for U-Prevent.


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