The aim of this article is to review the development and assessment of cardiovascular risk prediction models and to discuss the predictive value of a risk factor as well as to introduce new assessment methods to evaluate a risk prediction model. Many cardiovascular risk prediction models have been developed during the past three decades. However, there has not been consistent agreement regarding how to appropriately assess a risk prediction model, especially when new markers are added to an existing model. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve has traditionally been used to assess the discriminatory ability of a risk prediction model. However, recent studies suggest that this method has its limitations and cannot be the sole approach to evaluate the usefulness of a new marker. New assessment methods are being developed to appropriately assess a risk prediction model and they will be gradually used in clinical and epidemiological studies.