Lothian Hypertension and Lipid clinics

Calculating cardiovascular risk

Assistance in cardiovascular risk calculation, including links to the most up-to-date resources.

QRISK Cardiovascular Risk Illustration


In Scotland, ASSIGN is recommended for calculating cardiovascular risk. ASSIGN is a cardiovascular risk calculator validated in Scottish populations (Scottish Heart Health Extended Cohort). However, the algorithm has not been updated since 2007 and as such does not take into account variables which have subsequently been associated with increased cardiovascular risk and are included in the more recent (2017) QRISK3 calculator e.g. atrial fibrillation. 


NICE recommends QRISK for calculating cardiovascular risk. QRISK3 (the most recent iteration) is a cardiovascular risk calculator not validated for use in Scottish populations, based on data derived from general practices in England. QRISK3 considers more variables than ASSIGN when calculating cardiovascular risk and as such may provide a more tailored score for patients, although it is unclear whether this score is generalisable to the Scottish population. It also calculates risk across a wider age range than ASSIGN (25-84 years).



In the attempt to improve doctor-patient interaction and to increase awareness on hypertension and its associated risks the European Society of Hypertension, in collaboration with the Italian Society of Hypertension, has published a dedicated APP for smartphones and tablets. This is the only APP on hypertension currently validated and supported by the European Society of Hypertension. Download it at: ESH App 

Clinical judgement

Cardiovascular risk calculators only provide an approximate value of cardiovascular risk and should always be used in the manner recommended by, and in conjunction with the other recommendations of, the most current guidelines. However, the calculators and guidelines are not intended to replace clinical judgement. We are always happy to discuss complex queries .