NICE suggests record trawl to diagnose CVD

GPs may have to trawl through patient records to identify those at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to NICE.

The recommendation follows the DoH decision to scrap plans for national CVD screening in favour of a risk and management strategy for CHD (GP, 22 June).

In a draft clinical guideline on cardiovascular risk assessment, NICE says primary care electronic records should be systematically examined for patient age, gender, smoking status, BP, total and HDL cholesterol.

If these factors indicate high CVD risk, patients should be called into the GP practice for assessment based on the Framingham equation. This is despite widespread criticism that the Framingham is unsuitable for risk assessment in the UK population.

Once patients attend for their check-up, GPs will have to measure BMI, fasting total, LDL and HDL cholesterol. Those with a 20 per cent or greater 10-year risk of CVD should then be given statins.

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