Mixed welcome for cardiovascular screening programme

DoH plans to begin a cardiovascular screening programme in England 2009 for high-risk individuals have been greeted with mixed reactions in a BMJ expert debate.

New Zealand Professor Rod Jackson argues that identifying and treating patients at greatest risk will save most lives. He believes GPs should be encouraged and rewarded for managing patients with existing cardiovascular disease.

But the University of Liverpool’s Professor Simon Capewell thinks whole population approaches, such as reducing cholesterol, BP or smoking, would be cheaper and more effective.

The DoH suggests that up to 9,500 heart attacks and strokes and 2,000 deaths could be prevented with screening and management of high-risk patients aged 40-74.

Contact Gemma McKenna at medical.temp@haymarket.com

BMJ Online: 2008

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