Vascular screening of over 40s will save 2000 lives a year, says health department

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 03 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:737
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Everyone in England aged between 40 and 74 is to be offered a health check every five years to screen for the risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and stroke, the Department of Health announced this week.

The health checks are the latest in a series of reforms designed to fulfil the prime minister’s promise of a more personalised NHS.

Alan Johnson, the secretary of state for health, said that detailed modelling by the department had shown that universal vascular screening will be clinically and cost effective. Vascular disease affects four million people in England and kills 170 000 people every year, he said.

“The case for a national programme of vascular checks is compelling. We could prevent 9500 heart attacks and strokes every year and save 2000 lives. It would also reduce the health inequalities that blight the …

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