Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tests for silent neck artery narrowing to curb stroke risk: Waste of resources, experts argue

Date:
September 5, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Tests to screen for "silent" neck artery narrowing in a bid to curb the risk of a stroke result in many unnecessary and costly surgical procedures, and ultimately save very few lives, conclude experts.

Tests to screen for "silent" neck artery narrowing in a bid to curb the risk of a stroke result in many unnecessary and costly surgical procedures, and ultimately save very few lives, concludes an editorial in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

In 2-6% of European men aged 60 plus, the major arteries supplying the brain (carotid arteries) are narrowed by 50-99%. This condition, termed carotid stenosis or atherosclerosis, accounts for 10-15% of strokes (data not in paper).

Carotid atherosclerosis is commonest in those with mild peripheral arterial disease in their legs, a condition known as claudication.

In this group the prevalence of silent carotid atherosclerosis is 15%. As they are already under the care of a vascular specialist, they are considered ideal candidates to test for silent carotid atherosclerosis.

But debate rages as to whether to screen for carotid atherosclerosis to stave off a stroke: the Royal College of Physicians does not currently recommend it, but the US Society for Vascular Surgery strongly backs testing in selected groups.

Those found to have severe (70-99%) carotid narrowing on screening are offered surgical treatment (endarterectomy).

But 133 people with claudication would need to be tested to pick up 20 patients eligible for surgery, and this would only prevent a single stroke, at a cost of around 76, 000, say the authors.

If this policy were to be introduced into England and Wales at age 60 for those with mild peripheral arterial disease, it would cost 17.5 million a year, on the basis that around 669 000 would be eligible for an ultrasound scan, 4600 of whom would then require surgery.

But all this effort would still only prevent 231 strokes, even in this high risk group, equivalent to around 0.2% of all 110,000 strokes sustained in 2010, say the authors.

"The hazards of overdiagnosis have recently been highlighted, and perhaps it is time to realise why it has been recommended that we stop testing for asymptomatic carotid atherosclerosis in the UK," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Tests for silent neck artery narrowing to curb stroke risk: Waste of resources, experts argue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905201257.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, September 5). Tests for silent neck artery narrowing to curb stroke risk: Waste of resources, experts argue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905201257.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Tests for silent neck artery narrowing to curb stroke risk: Waste of resources, experts argue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905201257.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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