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Plans to reduce heart disease

8th February 2007

Health professionals in Scotland are planning a new approach to combating heart disease in the country.

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (Sign), which draws up guidelines for the NHS, has put forward proposals that it claims will help save the lives of 7,000 heart disease patients over the next five years.

The plans include screenings for men over the age of 40 every five years and the use of statin drugs to reduce cholesterol levels.

Also included in the proposals is an insistence that doctors should offer priority treatment to those from socially deprived areas.

"These guidelines bring together the most robust and up-to-date scientific evidence and the very best clinical expertise to detail how we can save thousands of people from developing and suffering the complications of heart disease," explained Sign's Professor Keith Fox.

It is hoped the new method may also help prevent 27,000 heart attacks and related cardiac events during the five-year time span.

Coronary heart disease killed around 10,000 Scots last year.