Heart Diseases: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 26 March 2018.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the evidential basis for the decision of the UK National Screening Committee in 2015 not to recommend screening to prevent sudden cardiac death in 12 to 39-year-olds.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC) makes recommendations to introduce a new screening programme based on robust peer reviewed evidence. This process was recognised by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Health Screening, which supported the idea that the evidential barrier should remain high because of the potential for screening to do harm. Further information is available here:


In 2015, the UK NSC did not recommend screening to prevent Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) in 12 to 39 year olds. This was due to the epidemiology of the condition not being fully understood a lack of published peer reviewed evidence to correctly identify the number of people affected and issues around the test. Further information on UK NSC’s recommendation can be found here:


The UK NSC will be reviewing SCD in 2018/19.

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