A health expert has called for improved and more targeted screening for conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, a move that could save the health service millions in the UK.
Dr Simon Griffi, a research scientist at Medical Research Council (MRC), has claimed that a change from the current mass screening to a more targeted approach could save significant resources, and supported recommendations that a couple of different alternatives would be both more effective and cheaper.
The first is screening for heart disease by having GPs check the available data on patients to determine which were most at risk of heart disease and then inviting to come in for screening. The second would involve people aged between 50 and 74 being mass screened rather than the current 40 to 74 age group in England and Wales.
Dr Griffin commented “In recent years there has been a trend towards introducing mass screening as a preventative measure in a number of areas of health policy that meet specified criteria.”
He added “Our research has shown that a more targeted approach to screening for risk of heart disease, based upon an evaluation of routinely-available clinical data, could be as effective in identifying those at risk as a mass screening programme. As such, this could deliver the same health gains for patients whilst offering the potential to save the NHS significant resources.”

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