New EHN paper on CVD Risk Assessment Programmes

January 18th 2021

Preview

To reduce the onset of cardiovascular disease, it is crucial to identify those persons at high risk of developing CVD, and to provide them with appropriate advice and preventive treatment.

The EHN revised paper ‘Early detection of cardiovascular disease’ focuses on strategies for prevention at an individual level and early identification of so-called high-risk individuals; that is, people who are at high risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease.

It builds upon available evidence from several studies and evidence gathered by experts as part of the WHO’s initiative on screening, published in the WHO Health Evidence Network (HEN) report ‘What is the effectiveness of systematic population level screening programmes for reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease?’, which synthesizes several high-quality, randomised controlled trials.

Key messages include:

  • There is potential value of case-finding within clinical practice, which involves assessing individuals that may be at risk of CVD when they use the healthcare system.
  • Evidence-based, targeted case-finding in selected settings and to specific population groups known to be at high risk are more likely to be effective for reducing CVD.
  • Digital technologies and Big Data could potentially transform early detection, for example by stratifying the population into risk groups using data from electronic health records or by self-monitoring, but further research and scientific validation of such technologies is needed.
  • Improving cardiovascular health must be a be a priority for the EU and Member States as it is crucial for making our healthcare systems more resilient and meeting our commitments on international frameworks. 

EHN calls for a European wide joint action and/or network of Member States, supported by experts, to identify the most effective policies, measures, and programmes for reaching out to and managing high risk individuals for cardiovascular disease and to detect those with specific, highly treatable cardiovascular conditions.

Click here to download the report.

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