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The Department of Health (DH) for England has announced that there will be a vascular screening programme for all people aged 40–74 except for those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease (CVD).1 All the rest will be invited to attend their general practice for cardiovascular risk assessment, including blood tests. In this paper, Chamman and colleagues investigate the efficiency of universal screening compared to more selective approaches.
The authors use data from the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC) study in Norfolk, in which baseline data were linked to subsequent cardiovascular events. Baseline data included a questionnaire about personal and family history, and lifestyle. Follow-up was for a median of 10 years with data being collected on hospital admissions and death. They were therefore able to look at cardiovascular event rates by baseline characteristics. …
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