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Millions face undiagnosed heart risk say researchers after mass screening
Date:9/2/2008

already been identified by their family doctor or another primary health care professional. However, the challenge now is to identify the other 40 per cent who are at high risk of developing the disease but remain undiagnosed."

"When we looked at gender differences in this age group, we found that only 47 per cent of men had been identified as having a high CVD risk, considerably lower than the 72 per cent of women identified, possibly because women are more likely to seek medical advice.

"These figures suggest that there is significant unmet need in the UK and points to the need for a national assessment programme to detect those individuals who haven't already been identified."

The screening programme was carried out by specially trained nurses at public events and in towns and cities, including supermarket locations. 43,261 women and 27,776 men attended the mobile screening centres, which were widely advertised in local media. Anyone over 18 could take part, with the exception of pregnant women.

Twelve per cent said they had already been diagnosed with CVD or diabetes and a further eight per cent said they were already taking drugs to lower their blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

Detailed notes were made on all the participants regardless of prior diagnosis - and the 80 per cent who had not received any kind of diagnosis (56,863 people) were given a CVD risk assessment.

The nurses completed a computerised questionnaire. This included the person's age, sex, smoking habits, a brief medical history - with particular emphasis on conditions and medication related to CVD - and details of close family deaths from the disease.

Cholesterol and trygliceride (fat) level samples were obtained and the nurses also took blood pressure and waist circumference measurements.

The researchers then used the data collected by the nurses to estimate the 10-year CVD risk using the internationally reco
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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