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Heart Screening in England - BBC News


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SharonBates Find out more about SharonBates
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  • Heart Screening in England - BBC News

    Push to cut heart deaths in young

    BBC News - Uk Edition, Friday, 4 March, 2005

    A drive to reduce the number of sudden heart disease deaths among young people in England has been announced.

    Ministers said screening will be introduced for close family members of sudden cardiac death syndrome victims.

    Relatives will be genetically tested for the largely inherited condition, which kills 400 a year, and fitted with an implant if they are at risk.

    The government also promised to improve treatment and diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias - irregular heartbeats.

    The condition affects 700,000 people a year and causes a third of all strokes.

    'Good start'

    The measures were included in a updated version of the 2000 National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease.

    Alison Cox, chief executive of Cardiac Risk in the Young said the measures on sudden cardiac death syndrome were a "good start".

    "This disease cannot be cured, but it can be treated and ultimately prevented if diagnosed in time.

    The government also published a progress report on the heart disease plan, which showed the heart disease mortality rate had fallen by 27% since 1996.

    The plan set a target of a 40% decrease by 2010 - although death rates have been falling for the last 30 years because of lifestyle improvements as well as better treatment.

    Health Secretary John Reid also said more people were receiving drugs for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which was saving 9,000 lives a year.

    And he said by the end of the month no-one will have to wait more than three months for a heart operation.


    "We have come a very long way in the first five years of our strategy for heart disease."

    But he added: "Today's report shows that we have the capacity to go even further to better the lives of people with heart disease."

    British Heart Foundation medical director Professor Peter Weissberg the heart disease plan had delivered "real benefits".

    "The report shows great progress, but it has only enabled us to catch up to where we should have been many years ago."

    And he said the country was still lagging behind many of its western European neighbours when it came to tackling heart disease deaths.

    Picture Caption:
    The heart disease mortality rate has fallen by 27%

    Cut out in article:
    The report shows great progress, but it has only enabled us to catch up to where we should have been many years ago Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation

    Story link:

  • #2
    Thanks for posting this, Sharon. I've a brother who lives in the UK, and has not yet taken action in getting tested, so I sent him the attachment as a reminder!