Selecting High Risk Patients for Cardio Screening Cost-Effective

Strategy is as effective as, less costly than, program that screens everyone ages 40 to 74
By Lindsey Marcellin
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Using routine data for cardiovascular risk stratification before inviting high risk individuals to be screened may be just as effective, and less costly, for preventing cardiovascular disease than the U.K. government's recommended national strategy to screen everyone aged 40 to 74 for cardiovascular risk, according to research published April 25 in BMJ.

Parinya Chamnan, of the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge, U.K., and colleagues 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 (range 19,450 to 34,134) yearly, a number close to that which the government's strategy could prevent: 26,789 events (range 20,778 to 36,239). This level of cardiovascular disease prevention could be accomplished by selecting out those at high risk for vascular risk assessment (only about 60 percent of the population). The researchers also predicted a similar number of cardiovascular events could be prevented (25,016; range 19,563 to 33,372) if only those aged 50 to 74 were invited for a vascular assessment.

"In conclusion, our findings illustrate the potential for using routinely available data for cardiovascular risk stratification before inviting people at high risk to a vascular assessment. Compared with mass screening, this approach may be similarly effective at preventing new cardiovascular events at the population level, with potential cost savings," the authors write.

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