Nav: Home

UK Health Check has only modest impact on risk factors for cardiovascular disease

May 02, 2016

The largest risk assessment and management program for cardiovascular disease in the world, England's National Health Service Health Check, had only a modest impact on risk factors for heart disease and did not meet national and international targets, found new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Many countries have created programs to assess and manage cardiovascular risk because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death world-wide.

"Health Check failed to meet targets, which is concerning, given that the program is being delivered in the context of a universal health system with well-developed primary care and high penetration of electronic medical records," states Kiara Chang, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College, London, UK, with coauthors.

Health Check provides a cardiovascular disease risk assessment every 5 years to all adults aged 40-74 years without known vascular disease. However, the program has been controversial in England since its introduction in 2009, and there have been no randomized controlled trials evaluating Health Check.

To assess the effectiveness of Health Check, researchers from the UK looked at electronic medical records of 138 788 randomly selected patients between the ages of 40 and 74 years who were registered at one of 462 English general practices. Of the total, 21.4% of patients (29 672) participated in the Health Check program.

"We found that attendance of the Health Check program was associated with statistically significant but clinically modest overall reductions in modelled cardiovascular risk and individual risk factors (except for smoking prevalence). Reductions in modelled cardiovascular risk, diastolic blood pressure, BMI [body mass index] and total cholesterol were similar for all Health Check attendees, irrespective of modelled cardiovascular risk levels at baseline," found the researchers. "The program resulted in significantly more diagnoses of selected vascular diseases among attendees, with the largest increases for hypertension and type 2 diabetes."

"Our results highlight the need for careful monitoring and evaluation of risk assessment programs for cardiovascular disease internationally. They also emphasize the need for high-quality research to identify effective strategies to improve program performance," the authors conclude.

Canadian Medical Association Journal

Related Heart Disease Articles:

Where you live could determine risk of heart attack, stroke or dying of heart disease
People living in parts of Ontario with better access to preventive health care had lower rates of cardiac events compared to residents of regions with less access, found a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Older adults with heart disease can become more independent and heart healthy with physical activity
Improving physical function among older adults with heart disease helps heart health and even the oldest have a better quality of life and greater independence.
Dietary factors associated with substantial proportion of deaths from heart disease, stroke, and disease
Nearly half of all deaths due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes in the US in 2012 were associated with suboptimal consumption of certain dietary factors, according to a study appearing in the March 7 issue of JAMA.
Certain heart fat associated with higher risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women
For the first time, researchers have pinpointed a type of heart fat, linked it to a risk factor for heart disease and shown that menopausal status and estrogen levels are critical modifying factors of its associated risk in women.
Maternal chronic disease linked to higher rates of congenital heart disease in babies
Pregnant women with congenital heart defects or type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with severe congenital heart disease and should be monitored closely in the prenatal period, according to a study published in CMAJ.
More Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...