Cardiovascular tests

Find reliable independent health and treatment information about cardiovascular disease tests written by Australian experts. This includes resources for consumers and health professionals.

About cardiovascular disease tests

Cardiovascular disease includes heart attack, stroke and other blood vessel diseases.

Find out about tests and assessments that can help assess your risk of cardiovascular disease, and which may be used to diagnose, treat and prevent heart disease.

Find out more

For health professionals  

Only those patients already known to be at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) do not need risk assessment.1 Multiple lifestyle risk factors contribute to a person developing CVD, and around half of all Australian’s have more than 2 of these.2 Absolute CVD risk should be calculated in all adults aged 45–74 years who are not either known to have CVD or already known to be at high risk of CVD.1 Perform CVD absolute risk assessment from 35 years in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.1 There are 3.5 million Australians with CVD; it accounts for 11% of Australia's healthcare expenditure and is responsible for more deaths than any other disease. With an aging population this burden is expected to increase.1

Our CPD activities

Consolidate your knowledge on cardiovascular tests, brush-up on current guidelines and practices and earn CPD points through our learning activities.

  • Clinical e-Audit: CVD risk — assessment and lipid-modifying therapy. GPs can review their current practice against best practice guidelines, get individualised feedback and compare with their peers when managing their patients with cardiovascular disease.
  • National Prescribing Curriculum module: Lipid management and CVD risk
  • Pharmacy Practice Review: Reducing CVD risk. Pharmacists can reflect on and improve their management and counselling of their patients with cardiovascular disease.

For your patients

Use the following tools and resources especially designed for use in your consultations with patients.

Clinical information

Quality use of medical tests means choosing the right test for the patient and using it at the right time. We have compiled some of the latest evidence and guidelines on cardiovascular risk assessments to help you discuss the relevance of this with your patients.

Other resources

  1. National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance. Guidelines for the assessment of absolute cardiovascular disease risk. 2009. [Online] (accessed 9 March 2013).
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Risk factors contributing to chronic disease. 2012. [Online] (accessed 13 February 2013).

Related information - cardiovascular-related tests


(Medical test)
28 Jun 2013 Lipid levels are an important measure of risk in cardiovascular disease. However, they should not be performed in isolation and should always be done as part of an absolute CVD risk calculation.
For health professionals (Medical test)
22 May 2013 Assessment of blood lipids during a preventive activity is not recommended in the absence of absolute cardiovascular disease risk assessment. Are you measuring absolute risk?
For health professionals (Medical test)
22 May 2013 Absolute CVD risk assessment more accurately estimates risk of CVD compared to single assessments such as lipids or blood pressure. Are you measuring absolute risk?