Most screening programmes evaluate patients with a high short term risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Clearly though, cardiovascular disease begins in early life and with the exposure to risk factors determines a lifetime risk for clinical cardiovascular events.
Here at The London General Practice, we use the Joint British Societies JBS3 calculator to assess 10-year and lifetime risk and this produces a heart age and a
10-year risk of having a cardiovascular event.
The algorithm includes history, blood pressure, weight, cholesterol levels, family history, and previous history of cardiovascular disease. If the JBS3 score gives a heart age above your real age or a high cardiovascular risk of 10% 10-year risk then further investigations are initiated including CT coronary calcium score, which determines the level of calcium which is equated with plaque in the coronary arteries; carotid Doppler ultrasound scan, which is a direct ultrasound view as to whether there is any thickening in the carotid artery circulation and further tests required, including an echocardiogram or stress echocardiogram.
The JBS3 score evaluation is independent of age and sex although these are factors which are utilised in its determination.
The score helps to highlight those individuals at risk who require further investigation. It also helps to reduce the need for any unnecessary scans which in themselves involve radiation exposure.
However, the CT scanner we use is the most advanced one which carries the least radiation exposure risk and whose results are interpreted by the most expert cardiology radiologists.
To learn more about health screening at the Practice please visit our web site