Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Age alone should be used to screen for heart attacks and strokes, say experts

Date:
May 5, 2011
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Using age alone to identify those at risk of heart disease or stroke could replace current screening methods without diminishing effectiveness, according to a groundbreaking study.

Using age alone to identify those at risk of heart disease or stroke could replace current screening methods without diminishing effectiveness, according to a groundbreaking study published in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

Existing screening methods which include measuring cholesterol and blood pressure are expensive and time consuming. The authors of the new study from Barts and The London Medical School say that this finding could save thousands of lives by making it easier for more people to have access to preventive treatment.

The new study compared screening using age alone with screening using age and multiple risk factors, measured via blood tests and medical examination. The authors used existing data to estimate the effects of the two screening approaches on a modelled population of 500,000 people.

Age screening alone using a cut off of 55 years had an 84 per cent detection rate and a 24 per cent false-positive rate. This is equivalent to correctly identifying 84 per cent of all the people in a population who will have a stroke or heart attack, while incorrectly identifying 24 per cent who will not. Current screening methods can achieve the same 84 per cent detection rate with a false-positive rate that is only slightly less -- 21 per cent.

Professor Sir Nicholas Wald is lead author and Director of the Wolfson Institute at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, part of Queen Mary, University of London. He said: "This study shows that age screening for future cardiovascular disease is simpler than current assessments, with a similar screening performance and cost effectiveness. It also avoids the need for blood tests and medical examinations.

With age screening all individuals above a specified age would be offered preventive treatment. Everyone would benefit because, for blood pressure and cholesterol, the lower the better. The policy of selecting people above a certain age is, in effect, selecting people at high risk. It recognises that age is by far the most important determinant of that risk with other factors adding little extra prognostic information.

"Prevention is better than measurement," Professor Wald added. "Identifying people at high risk of cardiovascular disease needs to be greatly simplified, enabling people to obtain easy access to preventive treatment from nurses and pharmacists as well as from doctors.

"Offering appropriate preventive treatment to everyone aged 55 and over in England and Wales could prevent over 100,000 heart attacks and strokes every year."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicholas J. Wald, Mark Simmonds, Joan K. Morris. Screening for Future Cardiovascular Disease Using Age Alone Compared with Multiple Risk Factors and Age. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (5): e18742 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018742

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Age alone should be used to screen for heart attacks and strokes, say experts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504183403.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2011, May 5). Age alone should be used to screen for heart attacks and strokes, say experts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504183403.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Age alone should be used to screen for heart attacks and strokes, say experts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504183403.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins