Screening for high-risk cardiac patients cost-effective

May 7, 2010

Using routine data for cardiovascular risk stratification before inviting high-risk individuals to be screened may be just as effective, and less costly, in preventing cardiovascular disease as the United Kingdom's government's recommended national strategy to screen everyone aged 40 to 74 for cardiovascular risk, according to a new study.

BMJ. 2010;340:c1693. [April 25, 2010]

Using routine data for cardiovascular risk stratification before inviting high-risk individuals to be screened may be just as effective, and less costly, in preventing cardiovascular disease as the United Kingdom's government's recommended national strategy to screen everyone aged 40 to 74 for cardiovascular risk, according to researchers at the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge, United Kingdom. They conducted a modeling study using data from a prospective cohort of 16,970 men and women age 40 to 74 without cardiovascular disease or diabetes at baseline. The researchers found that a screening approach that uses a simple risk score incorporating routine data could prevent 25,134 new cardiovascular events yearly. This level of cardiovascular disease prevention could be accomplished by selecting out those at high risk for vascular risk assessment, about 60 percent of the population age 40 and older.