• ABIAnkle-brachial index
  • ACDPAAustralian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance
  • AFAtrial fibrillation
  • BMIBody mass index
  • BPBlood pressure
  • CACCoronary artery calcium
  • CACCoronary artery disease
  • CHDCoronary heart disease
  • CKDChronic kidney disease
  • CTComputed tomography
  • CVDCardiovascular disease
  • DASHDietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
  • DHADocosahexaenoic acid
  • eGFREstimated glomerular filtration rate
  • EPAEicosapentaenoic acid
  • FHFamilial hypercholesterolaemia
  • GRADEGrading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation
  • HDLHigh-density lipoprotein
  • hs-CRPHigh-sensitivity C-reactive protein
  • LDLLow-density lipoprotein
  • MBSMedicare Benefits Schedule
  • MIMyocardial infarction
  • NHMRCNational Health and Medical Research Council
  • NVDPANational Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance
  • PBSPharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
  • PCOSPolycystic ovary syndrome
  • PICOPatient/population, intervention, comparison, outcomes
  • RACGPThe Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • RCTRandomised controlled trial
  • SEIFASocio-Economic Indexes for Areas
  • TGATherapeutic Goods Administration
  • uACRUrine albumin-to-creatinine ratio



The presence of excessive amounts of the protein albumin in urine.


The part of the Australian Risk Calculator that uses the PREDICT equation, recalibrated for the Australian population, to calculate a CVD risk score (see also ‘calculator’).


A term for human proteins that allow the formation of the particles that transport lipids in the blood.  Harmful apolipoproteins include Apolipoprotein B and Apolipoprotein (a). 

Atrial fibrillation (AF)

A common type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) where the heart beats irregularly and often fast. AF can increase the risk of blood clots which can cause a stroke.

Since ECG AF was used to define this variable in PREDICT equation, both paroxysmal and persistent AF are included in definition of AF.

Aus CVD Risk Calculator

The Australian cardiovascular disease risk calculator.

Blood pressure (BP)

The pressure of the blood against the inner walls of the arteries as it is pumped around the body by the heart. Blood pressure is variable and is affected by factors such as body position, breathing, emotional state, physical activity and sleep.

Body mass index (BMI)

A number used to identify underweight, overweight or obesity, calculated using weight (kg) divided by height (m) squared.


Refers to the Australian cardiovascular disease risk calculator (Aus CVD Risk Calculator) which combines the risk prediction algorithm and other risk considerations (clinically determined high risk and reclassification factors) to determine a CVD risk prediction score/category and incorporates communication and management of CVD risk recommendations (see also ‘algorithm’).

Cardiovascular disease (CVD)

Broadly, a term commonly used to refer to all conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels, including stroke. However, ‘cardiovascular disease’ used in this guideline refers only to the following conditions, which reflect outcomes predicted by the Australian cardiovascular disease risk calculator:

  • myocardial infarction
  • angina
  • other coronary heart disease
  • stroke
  • transient ischaemic attack
  • peripheral vascular disease
  • congestive heart failure
  • other ischaemic CVD-related conditions.

Cardiovascular events

Group of outcomes that normally includes myocardial infarction, stroke, death from a vascular cause (including coronary, pulmonary embolism, haemorrhage).


See lipids.

Chronic heart failure

A condition in which the heart does not pump blood effectively, often presenting as oedema and typically resulting in breathlessness and fatigue.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD)

Long-term inability of the kidneys to function normally, most commonly caused by diabetes, inflammation of the kidneys or high blood pressure.

Clinically determined high risk

When certain clinical presentations automatically put the person in the high-risk category for CVD.

Cohort study

A type of clinical study in which a selected group of people is observed and followed over time, often over a period of several years.

Coronary heart disease (CHD)

A disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle, in which they become blocked or narrowed by a build-up of plaque. CHD can cause angina (chest pain) and heart attacks.


A long-term condition that affects the way body cells take up and use glucose (a type of sugar) from the blood, resulting in abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood.

Electronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes)

E-cigarettes (or vapes) are a diverse group of battery-powered or rechargeable devices that aerosolise a liquid for inhalation.

Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH)

An inherited condition in which low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol uptake from the blood is reduced, causing high LDL levels and early heart disease.

First Nations people

First Nations people is used throughout the guideline to refer to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples on the advice of consultation.

Healthy eating

Eating a wide variety of foods from each of the 5 major food groups, in the amounts recommended.

Healthy lifestyle

A way of living that encompasses healthy behaviours related to nutrition, alcohol, smoking and physical activity, including exercise. It is recognised that not all lifestyle factors are an individual’s choice, but reflect the complex interplay of social, cultural, and environmental factors, which may be further influenced by clinical conditions. Use of these terms does not attribute blame to a person.


Raised blood pressure.


A term to describe fats including biological lipids such as cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids.


A term to describe the particles in which lipids are transported in the blood.  This infers their harmful [LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, lipoprotein (a)] or protective (HDL cholesterol) role in coronary disease.


Persistent uACR >25mg/mmol in males or >35mg/mmol in females.


Persistent uACR 2.5–25mg/mmol in males and 3.5–35mg/mmol in females.

Myocardial infarction (heart attack)

Temporary loss of blood supply to the heart muscle, typically caused by a blood clot that suddenly blocks a narrowed artery. This can result in heart muscle damage.

Number needed to treat (NNT)

Average number of people who need to be treated to prevent one additional bad outcome. The number is the inverse of the absolute risk reduction.

Peripheral arterial disease

A condition affecting the arteries other than those of the heart or brain.


An ongoing, prospectively designed, open cohort study in New Zealand.


Equation derived from PREDICT cohort for predicting risk of cardiovascular disease.


The presence of excessive amounts of protein (>150mg per day) in the urine. These proteins are typically albumin, but also consist of low molecular weight immunoglobulin, lysozyme, insulin and beta-2 microglobulin.

Risk assessment

Full process to estimate a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, includes use of a risk calculator and any reclassification factors or clinical adjustments.

Risk equation

Statistical predictive model to quantify a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease over a given time period.

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) are summary measures of the social and economic conditions of geographic areas across Australia. They use a range of different Census variables including income, education, employment, occupation and housing characteristics. An area with a low score on this index reflects relatively high levels of socioeconomic disadvantage, whilst an area with a high score on this index indicates high levels of advantage.

SEIFA scores may be divided into quintiles, where quintile 1 contains the lowest 20% of scores for the most disadvantaged areas and quintile 5 contains the highest 20% of scores for the most advantaged areas.


Sudden loss of blood supply to the brain (e.g. due to a blood clot blocking an artery, or an artery breaking or bursting) preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients so that brain cells die in minutes causing neurological dysfunction.

The Guideline

Guideline for assessing and managing cardiovascular disease risk.

Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

Transient episode of neurologic dysfunction caused by loss of blood flow. TIAs share the same underlying cause as stroke and the same symptoms but symptoms resolve within a few minutes or less than 24 hours.


See lipids.