What is absolute risk? E-mail

Absolute risk is your chance, as an individual, of getting cardiovascular disease (which includes all heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases). It can be hard to know whether you are at risk of getting cardiovascular disease, because sometimes you can’t feel any symptoms.

In the past, your chance of getting cardiovascular disease was measured by looking at your risk factors one at a time, for example, blood pressure or cholesterol. We now know that risk factors work together to increase or decrease your overall chance of getting cardiovascular disease, and that we need to measure all of your risk factors together. The absolute risk calculator on this website does just that.

If you are 45 years or older (or 35 years and older if you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background) you can use the calculator on this website to find out your absolute “heart and stroke” risk score. Your score will tell you your chance of getting heart, stroke and blood vessel disease in the next five years. When you find out your score, you will need to ask your doctor what it means and how you can take steps to reduce your chance to getting cardiovascular disease. There is also some information on this website that may help you understand your risk score – go to the ‘Your risk score’ page to find out more.



The National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance and its work has been incorporated into the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (ACDPA). All activities are being continued under ACDPA.