The best age to predict heart disease, say experts

Age alone can be used to predict who is most likely to suffer from heart disease and require preventive treatment, experts said.

A study conducted at Barts and The London Medical School using a mathematical model, two different screening methods to compare the risk of heart disease identified in a theoretical population of 500,000 people.

The first method uses screening by age alone, with all people over age 55 are offered preventive treatment, although they are not at risk.

The second method takes into account several risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including cholesterol, blood pressure and whether there are people smoking and the age and gender.

Both screening methods have detection rates of 84 percent. The study authors say this is equivalent to correctly identify 84 percent of all people in the population have a stroke or heart attack will have.

Age shield only has a 24 percent false positive rate, meaning that 24 percent of them are played preventive treatment, even if they get healthy. This compares with 21 percent false positive rate using the method of multiple risk factors.

Squeeze in the journal PLoS ONE, the authors argue that screening by age alone would be effective as current methods of screening for heart disease using a combination of blood tests and medical examinations. It would be more cost effective and can prevent more than 100,000 heart attacks and strokes each year, they said.

Professor Sir Nicholas Wald, director of the Wolfson Institute who led the research, said: "This study shows that screening age for cardiovascular disease in the future more easily than the current assessment, with the same screen performance and cost effectiveness also avoid the need for blood. Test and medical examination .

By the age of screening all individuals above a certain age will be offered preventive treatment. All the people want because of the benefits for blood pressure and cholesterol, lower is better.

"The policy of selecting people over a certain age is, in effect, selecting high-risk people. It recognizes that age is by far the most important determinant of risk with other factors add little additional prognostic information.

"Prevention is better than measuring Identifying people at high risk of cardiovascular disease should be made easier, allowing people easy access to preventive medicine and pharmacy nurses and doctors to get .."

However, the British Heart Foundation said that the screening method will lose some people at risk of heart disease.

Natasha Stewart, the center's senior nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This study shows results similar to other more detailed risk assessment with an older population, but it will lose the younger cardinals in high risk groups such as with. History family heart disease, the people of South Asian descent and people with diabetes.

"Because of this less expensive model will be useful for broad screening program, but important that we continue to complete the risk assessment for young people is significant risk of heart disease and blood circulation ..

"Recognition and treatment of other risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure in people aged 40-55 to prevent them from developing heart and blood vessels in the first place, what is best for their results and economic sense for the NHS."

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