Screening Tests for Adults (age 50 and above)

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Not everyone in this age group may need screening for every condition listed here. Click on the links above to read more about each condition and to determine if screening may be appropriate for you or your family member. You should discuss screening options with your health care practitioner.

Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death both in the UK and the US. The risk of heart attacks rises with age and men of 45 years of age and older and women of 55 years of age and older are often at an appreciable risk.
NHS UK National Screening Committee recommended in 2003 that priority be given to the identifying people with established heart disease so that they can be given advice and treatment to reduce the risk of recurrent heart attacks. In December 2005 the Joint British Societies (JBS) recommended that Coronary Artery Disease (CAD or heart disease)
prevention should focus equally on people with established disease, people with diabetes and those who appear healthy but have a high risk of heart attack(≥ 20% over 10 years).
For people who are not in these high risk groups, the Joint British Societies priority is to promote lifestyle change and improve health education. Furthermore, the JBS recommend that all adults >40 years of age who do not have a history of CAD or diabetes, and are not already on treatment for blood pressure or lipids should be given a CAD risk assessment once every five years. It is suggested that although screening helps identify those with near-term risk who may benefit from drug therapy, the screening of younger adults helps promote lifestyle changes for longer term health benefits.
These two recommendations are different and the National Screening Committee is leading work to integrate them with the National Service Framework for Diabetes to create the Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Project.