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Several cardiovascular risk scores have been constructed from cohort studies, some of which have been adopted for clinical use in jurisdictions other than that from which the constituent data were collected. Furthermore, most such scores are applied, for example when deciding who should receive treatment from statins, at times well in advance of the original study’s follow-up period. Whether or not risk scores are amenable to such transportation over space and time is debatable. This talk will introduce the basic concepts of risk scores and give a critical overview of how they are interpreted, considering their limitations for practical use. The speaker’s own cardiovascular risk score, Scottish ASSIGN, will be used as an example. It will be argued that much of the current research in risk scoring is misdirected and that the process of validation, thought to be essential by most practitioners, can only ever have limited utility. A process of correcting and updating a basic score, derived using research data, by using national survey and routine mortality statistics, will be explained.

Mark WoodwardMark Woodward

Professor of Statistics and Epidemiology

The George Institute for Global Health

University of Oxford


Mark Woodward is The George Institute for Global Health’s Professor of Statistics and Epidemiology at University of Oxford and Professor of Biostatistics at University of Sydney. He obtained his PhD at University of Reading and has been a lecturer at the Department of Applied Statistics at University of Reading, and Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit at University of Dundee. He was also previously Professor of Medicine and Head of Biostatistics Core at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, USA.

Mark has 35 years’ experience of working in statistics and 25 years’ experience of working in cardiovascular epidemiology and trials, with over 500 peer-reviewed publications and two text-books. He is a Thompson-Reuters Highly Cited Researcher. He is an associate editor of Statistics in Medicine and an editor of Women’s Health. He is the senior statistician on several clinical trials (e.g. in cancer, HIV/AIDS, stroke, CKD and diabetes), and of the CKD-Prognosis Consortium and the Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration. He also chairs the Asia-Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration.


Flyer (in PDF)

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Monday, 26 February 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ BDI/OxPop Building LG seminar rooms

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Monday, 04 March 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ BDI/OxPop Building LG seminar rooms

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Thursday, 07 March 2024, 4pm to 8pm @ The Curzon Cinema, The Westgate, Oxford

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Monday, 15 April 2024, 1pm to 2pm @ BDI/OxPop Building LG seminar rooms