New QResearch tool to improve stroke treatment

New QResearch tool to improve stroke treatment
15 May 2013 17:10:05.393
University of Nottingham researchers have developed a new predictive tool to help GPs identify and treat patients at risk of stroke.

The QStroke algorithm has been shown to be better at predicting risk of primary stroke than current methods among those with atrial fibrillation who may need anticoagulants.

Stroke is a major cause of preventable disability and death, affecting around 150,000 people in the UK every year.
Click here for full story

Research published recently in the British Medical Journal showed that QStroke was an improved measure of absolute stroke risk among patients without diagnoses of stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Unlike existing methods, it uses a statistical model and established risk factors, based on variables that patients are likely to know or information recorded in their medical notes.

The algorithm was developed using anonymised patient data from the QResearch database – a not-for-profit partnership between The University of Nottingham and leading healthcare technology provider EMIS.

QStroke uses the same factors as the QRISK2 cardiovascular risk score – age; sex; ethnicity; deprivation score (linked to postcode); smoking status; diabetes; atrial fibrillation; rheumatoid arthritis; chronic renal disease; treated hypertension; family history of heart disease in a near relative under 60; cholesterol/HDL ratio; systolic BP, and body mass index. It also uses three extra factors — valvular heart disease, congestive cardiac failure and heart attack/angina.

The prospective open cohort study was led by Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox, from the University’s Division of Primary Care. She said: “Stroke can have a devastating impact on individuals and their families, and we hope this research will help GPs identify those patients most at risk so that they can intervene and prevent disability and deaths.”

She added: “We are very grateful to all the EMIS practices who contribute data to QResearch, and without whom this work would not be possible. We think our study has good validity because it was conducted in general practice, where most patients are assessed, treated and followed up, and where there are good levels of accuracy and completeness in recording diagnoses and prescribed drugs.

“However, further research is needed to evaluate clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness of the algorithm in primary care.”

QStroke is available for all GP system suppliers to integrate, as with QRISK2. GPs can also go online at and enter information into the web calculator.

— Ends —

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter or find out more on our Press Office blog

Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information is available from Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox by email at

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798