Your browser has 'Cookies' disabled, alert boxes will continue to appear without this feature.

Clinical guidelines

National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people Second edition

Appendix 1: Australian cardiovascular risk charts

Cardiovascular risk charts figure 1

Notes: The risk charts include values for SBP alone, as this is the most informative of conventionally measured blood pressure parameters for cardiovascular risk.

CVD refers collectively to coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and other vascular disease including peripheral arterial disease and renovascular disease. Charts are based on the NVDPA’s Guidelines for the assessment of absolute cardiovascular disease risk and adapted with permission from New Zealand Guidelines Group. New Zealand Cardiovascular Guidelines Handbook: A Summary Resource for Primary Care Practitioners. Second edition. Wellington, NZ:

Cardiovascular risk charts figure 2

How to use the risk charts

1. Identify the table relating to the person’s diabetes status, sex, smoking history and age. ‘Smoker’ is defined as either current daily cigarette smoker or former smoker who has quit within the previous 12 months. The charts should be used for all adults aged 45–74 years (and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged 35 years and older) without known history of CVD or already known to be at high risk.

2. Within the chart, choose the cell nearest to the person’s age, systolic blood pressure (SBP) and total cholesterol (TC):HDL ratio. For example, the lower left cell contains all non-smokers without diabetes who are 35–44 years and have a TC:HDL ratio of less than 4.5 and a SBP of less than 130 mm Hg.

  • SBP (mean of two readings on two occasions).
  • Total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio (ensure correct ratio is used).

3. The colour of the cell that the person falls into provides their 5-year absolute cardiovascular risk level (see legend above for risk category). For people who fall exactly on a threshold between cells, use the cell corresponding to higher risk. The risk calculator may underestimate cardiovascular risk in these groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults
  • adults with diabetes aged 60 years or less
  • adults who are overweight or obese
  • socioeconomically deprived groups.

© Heart Foundation Guide to management of hypertension 2008

Reproduced with permission from the Heart Foundation. No further reproduction is permitted.

Advertisement loading...


The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Ltd

Contact Us

General Inquiries

General Enquiries

Opening hours 8:00 am-8:00 pm AEST

1800 4RACGP

1800 472 247 | +61 (3) 8699 0300 (international)



Pay invoices online

RACGP automated payment service: 1800 198 586

Follow us on

Follow RACGP on Twitter Follow RACGP on Facebook Follow RACGP on LinkedIn

Healthy Profession. Healthy Australia Logo

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Ltd (RACGP) ABN 34 000 223 807
RACGP House, 100 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002 Australia

Terms and conditions | Privacy statement
Sponsor conditions | Delegate conditions