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Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1978 December; 28(197): 735-736, 738-740, 742.
PMCID: PMC2159006

A coronary screening programme in general practice


All male patients between the ages of 37 and 43 were selected from an age-sex register and invited to attend the surgery for coronary screening, which included medical history, family history, occupation, smoking habits, blood pressure, examination of the urine, measurement of weight and height, the taking of an electrocardiogram and chest x-ray, plus fasting blood levels of cholesterol, sugar, triglycerides, lipid electrophoresis, urea, and full blood picture. Sixty-four per cent responded to the invitation and of those, avoidable risk factors were found in 52 per cent.

Forty per cent of those reporting had not previously had their blood pressure recorded. Fifty-eight per cent had not had their urine examined, and 71 per cent had never had a chest x-ray.

Twenty per cent were found to have atypical electrocardiograms (mainly T-wave changes and ectopics) and 20 per cent had sufficiently elevated plasma lipids to justify further electrophoresis. Forty-four per cent of patients admitted to smoking more than 10 cigarettes daily.

Follow-up of the smokers one year later showed that 27 per cent had stopped smoking completely, 12 per cent had reduced their smoking by more than half, 54 per cent had not changed their smoking habits at all, five per cent had given up smoking but started again, and two per cent had either moved away or could not be traced.

I believe such a programme can readily be undertaken in the average general practice and can yield much useful information, such that it is possible to influence patients' smoking habits by advice.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Ball K, Turner R. Smoking and the heart. The basis for action. Lancet. 1974 Oct 5;2(7884):822–826. [PubMed]
  • Carlson LA, Böttiger LE. Ischaemic heart-disease in relation to fasting values of plasma triglycerides and cholesterol. Stockholm prospective study. Lancet. 1972 Apr 22;1(7756):865–868. [PubMed]
  • Coope J. A screening clinic for hypertension in general practice. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1974 Mar;24(140):161–166. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Doll R, Peto R. Mortality among doctors in different occupations. Br Med J. 1977 Jun 4;1(6074):1433–1436. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gordon T, Castelli WP, Hjortland MC, Kannel WB, Dawber TR. High density lipoprotein as a protective factor against coronary heart disease. The Framingham Study. Am J Med. 1977 May;62(5):707–714. [PubMed]
  • Hart JT. Semicontinuous screening of a whole community for hypertension. Lancet. 1970 Aug 1;2(7666):223–226. [PubMed]
  • Miettinen M, Turpeinen O, Karvonen MJ, Elosuo R, Paavilainen E. Effect of cholesterol-lowering diet on mortality from coronary heart-disease and other causes. A twelve-year clinical trial in men and women. Lancet. 1972 Oct 21;2(7782):835–838. [PubMed]
  • Miller NE, Thelle DS, Forde OH, Mjos OD. The Tromsø heart-study. High-density lipoprotein and coronary heart-disease: a prospective case-control study. Lancet. 1977 May 7;1(8019):965–968. [PubMed]

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