Heart check target exceeded by 75% in Scotland

The NHS in Scotland exceeded its target for heart disease screening by 75%, data show.

Health checks focus on cardiovascular risk factors like smoking
Health checks focus on cardiovascular risk factors like smoking

Figures from NHS Scotland’s information services division show that 41,107 heart checks were performed in 2010/11. That is 17,528 more than the year’s target of 23,579.

Checks were performed under the Keep Well and Well North programmes and targeted groups affected by health inequalities. Groups are picked either by selecting specific deprived data zones or by targeting individual groups.

Public health minister Michael Matheson said it was a ‘fantastic’ achievement to deliver over 40,000 check-ups to the people who need it most.

‘By intervening early to offer heath advice and support where required, we can really improve people's lives,’ he said. ‘Preventing heart disease not only saves lives, it reduces the need for costly, crisis interventions which neither we nor society can afford.’

The health checks focus on cardiovascular risk factors, especially BP, cholesterol, smoking and diabetes. Those found to be at risk are referred onto further services, offered brief lifestyle interventions or prescribed appropriate medications.

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