Letters, calls and emails: DoH still working on CVD screening programme

Dear Editor

Your front page article 'DoH abandons "ineffective" CVD Screening' is incorrect (22 June). There is no systematic cardiovascular risk programme at present. The DoH is looking at a range of options for vascular risk assessment and management, but no decision has been taken.

There is growing recognition that we need to become better at identifying who is at risk of cardiovascular disease and of diabetes and kidney disease.

There is good information about how to help people once they have been identified?

NICE has already told us that offering statins to people at high risk is clinically and cost-effective.

However, dealing with risk is not just about medication. A significant amount of work is already taking place in helping people to understand and reduce their own levels of risk.

Initiatives such as Life Check and Healthy Communities can help people make healthier lifestyle choices, as well as decide when further intervention may be necessary.

The question of risk management, including whether or not screening is the right way to tackle it, is complex. It is right that we take the time to evaluate the options carefully, including the examination of the costs, benefits and risks.

Bill Kirkup, Chairman of DoH vascular programme board.

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