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Heart screening 'should be based on age'

Heart screening 'should be based on age'
30th April 2010

A heart screening policy based on age would be as effective and easier to implement than the present system, according to the British Cardiovascular Society.

Current methods are based on complicated risk factors, yet age is by far the most predictive risk factor for heart attacks and stroke, claims Dr David Wald, consultant cardiologist and a representative of the British Cardiovascular Society.

His comments followed the publication of an article in the British Medical Journal, which claimed that heart screening is a "waste of money".

Mr Wald said: "The implementation of universal screening is realistic if done properly. It needs to be simple, accessible and effective.

"Prioritising the process, by adding extra selection steps, is not sensible, because these extra steps have little effect in improving the efficacy of screening."

According to the British Heart Foundation, heart and circulatory disease is the UK's biggest killer, causing 34 per cent of UK deaths in 2007.

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