- Paulo Santos
The cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, especially because of myocardial infarction and stroke. Their beginning, however, starts many years earlier with the atherosclerotic process due to the cardiovascular risk factors, with different weights in the global risk. Our aim is to review the utilization of risk estimators in primary health care, through a comprehensive review of the literature and official national and international health data (OECD and WHO). The risk estimators aim to integrate the partial information of each factor in a global calculation able to help towards a better clinical reasoning in primary prevention. Besides the variables in the mathematical algorithm, estimators must consider also the factors not in the equation, but significant for decision making. Risk estimators are crucial in prevention, allowing to classify the risk in practical categories easy to use and to benefit the decision-making, more than trying to guess what will happen to the patient.