The clinical decision to treat hypercholesterolemia is premised on an awareness of patient risk, and cardiac risk prediction models offer a practical means of determining such risk. However, these models are based on observational cohorts where estimates of the treatment benefit are largely inferred. The West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS) provides an opportunity to develop a risk-benefit prediction model from the actual observed primary event reduction seen in the trial. Five-year Cox model risk estimates were derived from all WOSCOPS subjects (n = 6,595 men, aged 45 to 64 years old at baseline) using factors previously shown to be predictive of definite fatal coronary heart disease or nonfatal myocardial infarction. Model risk factors included age, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein ratio (TC/HDL), current smoking, diabetes, family history of fatal coronary heart disease, nitrate use or angina, and treatment (placebo/40-mg pravastatin). All risk factors were expressed as categorical variables to facilitate risk assessment. Risk estimates were incorporated into a simple, hand-held slide rule or risk tool. Risk estimates were identified for 5-year age bands (45 to 65 years), 4 categories of TC/HDL ratio (<5.5, 5.5 to <6.5, 6.5 to <7.5, ≥7.5), 2 levels of diastolic blood pressure (<90, ≥90 mm Hg), from 0 to 3 additional risk factors (current smoking, diabetes, family history of premature fatal coronary heart disease, nitrate use or angina), and pravastatin treatment. Five-year risk estimates ranged from 2% in very low-risk subjects to 61% in the very high-risk subjects. Risk reduction due to pravastatin treatment averaged 31%. Thus, the Cardiovascular Event Reduction Tool (CERT) is a risk prediction model derived from the WOSCOPS trial. Its use will help physicians identify patients who will benefit from cholesterol reduction. Copyright (C) 2000 Excerpta Medica Inc.