Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice Observed

Identification and treatment of risk factors for coronary heart disease in general practice: a possible screening model

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 18 June 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:1711
  1. Alan Jones,
  2. D H Davies,
  3. J R Dove,
  4. M A Collinson,
  5. Pamela M R Brown


    A screening programme for the identification of risk factors for coronary heart disease in all patients aged 25-55 years in a general practice population was studied.

    The identification of risk factors included measurement of obesity, blood pressure, hypercholesterolaemia, and urinalysis, together with questions about family history, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, and lifestyle. The patients with identified risk factors were invited to attend a lifestyle intervention clinic organised by the practice nurses and run by the health visitors, with the help of the local authority dietitian. Of 2646 (62%) patients who attended for screening, 78 (64%) of the 121 shown to have a high cholesterol concentration experienced a drop in cholesterol concentration. The mean fall in cholesterol concentration in the 78 patients who showed a positive response to intervention was 1·1 mmol/l.

    The study was intended as a possible flexible model for screening for coronary heart disease in general practice that could be complemented rather than replaced by opportunistic screening. The issues of organisation, cost, manpower, non-attendance, and effectiveness in a busy general practice environment are discussed.