What is your Q-Risk score?

Vascular comorbidity accelerates MS disease progression. What can you do about it?

Did you know if you have MS and a vascular comorbidity you will on average need a walking stick approximately 6 years earlier than if you did not have vascular comorbidity?  This 6-year difference in reaching EDSS 6.0 (requiring a walking stick) is larger than the treatment effect of a platform DMT on disease progression.

Vascular comorbidities include prediabetes (insulin resistance), diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, hypercholesterolemia & hyperlipidaemia, peripheral vascular disease and smoking.

As vascular comorbidities are largely preventable are you doing anything to prevent or optimally treat your own comorbidities? If not, you need to ask yourself why not? Self-management and taking responsibility for your own health is the order of the day; this has to become the new normal. 

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When was the last time you weighed yourself? Check your own blood pressure? Had blood tests to measure your cholesterol, blood lipids and fasting blood glucose? Do you know what your BMI is? Heart age? Q-risk scores are? 

Have you had a recent NHS Health Check? If you are not over 50 years of age you can do your own health check. Please read the NHS Health Check website, which tells you how to interpret and engage with the results. 

As a healthcare professional, I am a big proponent of walking the talk; I can’t expect my patients to engage with lifestyle modifications to optimise their brain and heart health unless I practice what I preach. The following is my Q-risk score (10-July-2021). Are you prepared to calculate yours? For people living in the UK, you can use the following calculator (Q-Risk2). 

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General Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions expressed here are those of Professor Giovannoni and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry nor Barts Health NHS Trust. The advice is intended as general advice and should not be interpreted as being personal clinical advice. If you have problems please tell your own healthcare professional who will be able to help you.