Cardiovascular Risk Assessment and Effects on Behavior in Switzerland The Swiss Heart Foundation HerzCheck®/Cardio-Test®

Niclas Freunda, Bernhard C. Friedlib, Therese Junkerc, Martin Zimmermannc, Michael J. Zellwegera, *
a University Hospital Basel, Cardiology Department, Switzerland
b Kantonsspital Baden, Cardiology Department, Switzerland
c Swiss Heart Foundation, Bern, Switzerland

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© Freund et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University Hospital Basel, Cardiology Department, Petersgraben 4, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland;, Tel: +41 61 265 54 73; Fax: +41 61 265 45 98;, E-mail:



“CardioTest®” is a tool for cardiovascular risk assessment. The aim of this study was to evaluate if this test used in Swiss pharmacies provides risk stratification and if it had impact on individual behaviour.


Individuals were evaluated (blood pressure, body waist circumference, random blood samples and coronary artery disease risk factors). The cardiovascular risk was calculated (AGLA Risk Score (ARS) a modified PROCAM Score) and participants were informed about their result. One year after the initial testing individuals were followed up by questionnaire with respect to the action they had taken based upon the ARS results. The relation between ARS results and events during follow-up were assessed. Events were defined as cardiovascular events due to chest pain, myocardial infarction or stroke.


A total of 1415 individuals were contacted for follow-up, 746 (53%) with a mean age of 62.7 (±12.8) years (60% were male) returned their questionnaire. The cardiovascular risk throughout the study-population turned out to be low: 73.9% had a low ARS <10%, 21.7% an intermediate ARS 10-20% and 4.4% had a high ARS >20%. Significantly more participants with ARS >20% consulted their family doctor (46.2%) than those with ARS 10-20% (25.2%) and ARS <10% (10.4%), respectively (p<0,01 for both comparisons). Sixty-four individuals (9%) suffered a cardiovascular event. The event rates increased as a function of ARS.


The overall cardiovascular risk of individuals participating in a pharmacy based risk assessment program seems to be low. CardioTest ® provided risk stratification with respect to future cardio-vascular events. CardioTest ® seems to have impact on individual behavior and lifestyle modification. Other settings and locations for screening might be considered to reach higher risk individuals at an earlier stage.

Keywords: : Coronary artery disease, risk factors, risk assessment, lifestyle.