NHS Health Check appears neither equitable nor cost-effective

NHS health checks may be missing the point when it comes to offering the optimal interventions and preventing cardiovascular disease. Carl Heneghan Since 2009 the NHS Health Check programme in England has added considerably to GP workload and has proved to be controversial given the uncertainty about whether it adds value. A Cochrane review found […]

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NOACs: good for some perhaps, but not for all

  ‘More than ten years of use, there remains uncertainty as to which populations are most likely to benefit from NOACs.’ Kamal Mahtani Over the last ten years, prescribing of non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) has increased substantially. In the UK, an estimated 58% increase has been quoted with a nine-fold increase in anticoagulant costs. […]

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Should you treat resolved Atrial Fibrillation?

  Do patients with resolved AF have a higher risk of strokes, asks Jack O’Sullivan Patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) are five times more likely to have a stroke than patients without AF. AF can be reversed (sinus rhythm restored) via catheter ablation or cardioversion (either electrical or chemical). Patients can also spontaneously revert to sinus […]

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Overestimation of cardiovascular risk and what to do about it

  A New Zealand study sets new standards for predicting cardiovascular risk and questions the validity of pre-existing risk equations  Carl Heneghan Prevention of cardiovascular disease relies on identifying those most at risk. Most cohorts of patients were established many years ago with patients at higher risk. A recent prospective cohort study done in New Zealand representing primary care […]

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Diagnosing childhood coeliac disease without biopsy

  Can a diagnosis of coeliac disease in children be made without doing a biopsy? Annette Pluddemann Current NICE guidelines recommend that in children referred with a positive serological test result, further investigations to rule in or rule out coeliac disease may use combinations of IgA EMA serological testing, HLA genetic testing and endoscopic biopsy. […]

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