Yes. There is anecdotal evidence, evidence from the literature (66, 404, 418) and evidence from Takeheart itself.
Secondary prevention for those who have already had a heart attack is beneficial - It is a 'must'. Primary prevention, for those with no heart attack history, is more controversal. There is growing evidence that it is effective (355, 440), especially for those who have other risk factors such as hypertension, a family history and diabetes. The financial implications of instituting a policy of primary prevention are impressive.
Do I need to fast?
No. Takeheart measures the total cholesterol which does not vary much from day to day. If this is high Takeheart will suggest you consult your doctor with a view to measuring the lipid fractions, which will require an overnight fast. The natural environment for Takeheart is in industry, where fasting is not a practical proposition.
How often should I come?
If your coronary risk factor score is low then about once every two to four years is sufficient.
If your score is high, then more frequent checks will allow you to monitor you progress. This is particularly helpful if you have adopted lifestyle changes, and you wish to see the effect they are having on your score. In which case checks every 6 to 12 months may be useful.
Is Takeheart available on the NHS or at my doctor's surgery?
No, not at present. Takeheart is happy to cooperate with the NHS, but has not been asked yet.
What about quality assurance?
Routines are written into the software to check and keep a record of the chemical analyser's performance. There is extensive range testing. Takeheart belongs to the Wolfson Laboratory Quality Assurance Scheme. All operators are qualified. All statements can be referenced back to the relevent literature.
Near patient testing has a bad press at times
Yes that is so. However Takeheart follows the three rules for such testing.
At present English or French. There would be no problem with other languages if the demand is there.
Do women need it as much as men?
Yes they do. Coronary heart disease is not a male perquisite.
What is the best age for TAKEHEART?
A ll ages over 18 years. The sooner you assess your risk the longer you have to put things right. TAKEHEART would ideally like to see you in your late twenties or early thirties.
Life style improvements result in a better quality of life healthwise for you at any age, the elderly included.
Do you do an ECG (electrocardiograph, EKG)?
No. An ECG is expensive and does not increase the predictive power of TAKEHEART(6).
£80 or £5 by email. Compare this with the over £54 cost to the National Health Service of an attendance at a diabetic clinic in a general practitioner's surgery in 1992.(257).
Do you find many sick people?
Our main field of activity is with the healthy. We do find a small number of people who are sick and these we refer appropriately. There are many clients who will certainly become sick if no action is taken. It is these people whom we aim to help. Take a look at our results.
How long does it take?
About half an hour's absence from bench or desk.
Do I need to undress?
No. You will be weighed in your normal indoor clothes (including shoes). Blood is taken from a finger prick. Blood pressure is measured with a cuff round the upper arm.
Yes. TAKEHEART has a mobile clinic and will go anywhere in the UK but we need a minimum of twelve people at a session to make it worthwhile to travel. Takeheart has been to offices, factories, sports centres, liesure centres, shops, stores, agricultural shows, village halls, hotels, fitness clubs, supermarkets, doctors' surgeries, hospitals, caravan sites, car parks.