University of Limerick
Forbes_2021_Derivation.pdf (304.04 kB)

Derivation and validation of a 10-year risk score for symptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysm

Download (304.04 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-07, 12:18 authored by Paul Welsh, Claire E. Welsh, Pardeep S. Jhund, Mark Woodward, Rosemary Brown, Jim Lewsey, Carlos A. Celis-Morales, Frederick K. Ho, Daniel F. Mackay, Jason M.R. Gill, Stuart R. Gray, Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi, Jill P. Pell, John F. Forbes, Naveed Sattar
BACKGROUND: Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) can occur in patients who are ineligible for routine ultrasound screening. A simple AAA risk score was derived and compared with current guidelines used for ultrasound screening of AAA. METHODS: United Kingdom Biobank participants without previous AAA were split into a derivation cohort (n=401820, 54.6% women, mean age 56.4 years, 95.5% White race) and validation cohort (n=83816). Incident AAA was defined as first hospital inpatient diagnosis of AAA, death from AAA, or an AAA-related surgical procedure. A multivariable Cox model was developed in the derivation cohort into an AAA risk score that did not require blood biomarkers. To illustrate the sensitivity and specificity of the risk score for AAA, a theoretical threshold to refer patients for ultrasound at 0.25% 10-year risk was modeled. Discrimination of the risk score was compared with a model of US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) AAA screening guidelines. RESULTS: In the derivation cohort, there were 1570 (0.40%) cases of AAA over a median 11.3 years of follow-up. Components of the AAA risk score were age (stratified by smoking status), weight (stratified by smoking status), antihypertensive and cholesterol-lowering medication use, height, diastolic blood pressure, baseline cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. In the validation cohort, over 10 years of follow-up, the C-index for the model of the USPSTF guidelines was 0.705 (95% CI, 0.678–0.733). The C-index of the risk score as a continuous variable was 0.856 (95% CI, 0.837–0.878). In the validation cohort, the USPSTF model yielded sensitivity 63.9% and specificity 71.3%. At the 0.25% 10-year risk threshold, the risk score yielded sensitivity 82.1% and specificity 70.7% while also improving the net reclassification index compared with the USPSTF model +0.176 (95% CI, 0.120–0.232). A combined model, whereby risk scoring was combined with the USPSTF model, also improved prediction compared with USPSTF alone (net reclassification index +0.101 [95% CI, 0.055–0.147]). CONCLUSIONS: In an asymptomatic general population, a risk score based on patient age, height, weight, and medical history may improve identification of asymptomatic patients at risk for clinical events from AAA. Further development and validation of risk scores to detect asymptomatic AAA are needed.


Earthquake Vulnerability of Water Supply and Natural Gas Systems

Directorate for Engineering

Find out more...

Microangiographic Study on the relationship between Blood Flow Pattern and Cardiovascular Morphogenesis in the Early Chick Embryo

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Find out more...



Circulation;144, pp. 604–614.


American Heart Association



Other Funding information

Chest, Heart, and Stroke Association Scotland, NHS Research Scotland Senior Clinical Fellowship, Medical Research Council, Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office



Usage metrics

    University of Limerick


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager