Millions 'unaware' of their heart disease risk

Checks are urgently needed to find almost four million people who may be unaware that they are at high risk of heart disease, specialists have warned.

One in three adults who are most at risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) over the next 10 years have not been diagnosed, a survey has found.

More than 71,000 people aged 18 and over were screened in 35 towns in Britain for the study. The findings showed that 75 per cent of men and 45 per cent of women over 50 already had CVD or diabetes, were taking cholesterol or blood pressure drugs or were at high risk of developing CVD.

Extrapolating the results to the whole country suggests that 7.9 million people have been diagnosed with heart disease or are at high risk of developing it but a further 2.8 million men and 900,000 women remain undiagnosed. The findings are published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

The researchers said that these people had not received the treatment and advice that could prevent them from developing the disease, and putting their lives at risk. The Government announced plans to roll out heart screening checks for people aged 40 to 74 earlier this year.

Andrew Neil, the professor of epidemiology who led the Oxford University team, said: "Our findings reinforce the need for a national cardiovascular risk assessment programme and we welcome the announcement by the Department of Health that plans are being put in place to institute primary care checks."

He said it was reassuring that 60 per cent of those at risk had been identified. "However, the challenge now is to identify the other 40 per cent."

Saranjit Sihota, Diabetes UK's head of public policy, said: "The findings of this new study, added to the fact that more than half a million people in the UK are unaware they have type 2 diabetes, highlights the urgency and importance of the Government's proposed screening programme.

"Some 80 per cent of people with diabetes die of heart disease so it's crucial this programme is rolled out quickly as early detection... could save the lives of thousands of people."

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) said in May that more than one million adults at high risk of a heart attack were missing out on statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs proven to save lives.

In guidance to GPs it said that all adults aged 40 to 75 should be assessed and those with at least a 20 per cent increased risk of a heart attack over the next 10 years offered treatment.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

    £24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

    Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

    Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

    Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there