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New U.K. Guidelines for Heart Disease Stroke Prevention

Screening recommended for people at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- British researchers issued new criteria for the prevention of heart disease and stroke that are likely to increase the number of people targeted for screening and treatment. The guidelines are published in a supplement to the December issue of Heart.

Three groups should be equally targeted for the prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, according to the guidelines: patients with established cardiovascular disease, patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus, and those with a 20% or greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years. Treatment should include lifestyle and risk factor interventions and drug treatment to lower blood pressure, modify lipids and reduce glycemia to target levels.

Screening should be considered for all adults over age 40 who have no history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes who are not already being treated for elevated blood pressure or lipids. They also recommend screening for all adults under age 40 who have a family history of premature atherosclerotic disease. Finally, they recommend screening for patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or familial dyslipidemia.

The Joint British Societies' guidelines are a collaborative effort of six professional societies: the British Cardiac Society, the British Hypertension Society, Diabetes UK, HEART UK, the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society, and The Stroke Association.

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