Guidelines on treating risk factors turn healthy people into patients, doctors say

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 09 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:988
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

Medicine may be going too far in extending risk thresholds for cardiovascular disease—turning many healthy people into worried patients, warned doctors at a conference in Edinburgh last week.

The conference, organised by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, expressed concern at recent international and UK guidelines that widen the range of people to be targeted for treatment with blood pressure and cholesterol lowering drugs.

Paul Padfield, a consultant physician in Edinburgh and one of the conference's organisers, said this risks medicalising states previously considered normal while putting more pressure on NHS budgets. …

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