Objectives: To analyse the effects on mortality and cardiovascular morbidity in a population-based sample, invited to an intervention programme incorporating a baseline screening examination and treatment programmes for subjects with cardiovascular risk factors, high alcohol intake and, in women, suspicion of breast cancer on mammography.
Setting: Section of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.
Subjects: Birth cohorts (aged 32-51 years) invited to screening examination (men = 9. 923; women = 4.422) were compared to birth cohorts not invited (men = 6.655; women = 4.290). Mean participation rate in the invited cohorts was 71% (range 64-78%). SCREENING EXAMINATION: Between 1974 and 1992 a baseline screening including a physical examination, blood pressure, a questionnaire regarding, e.g. family history, lifestyle, and socio-economic factors, laboratory tests of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, gamma-glutamyl-transferase, blood glucose before and after an oral glucose load, as well as a mammography examination in women, was performed.
Interventions: Subjects with hypertension; hyperlipidaemia; diabetes or glucose intolerance; high alcohol intake; or, in women, suspicion of breast cancer were referred to special outpatient clinics.
Main outcome measures: Total and cause-specific mortality, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and stroke, from the screening examination until the end of 1995, was followed in both the intervention and control groups, using national and/or local registries.
Results: Total mortality did not differ significantly between the intervention group and control group. Cause-specific deaths were also similar except for 'other' deaths amongst men being significantly lower in the intervention group, mainly due to a lower mortality from 'other' causes (suicide, alcohol related deaths) in men under 40 years of age at baseline. Women under 40 years of age had a significantly lower mortality from cancer in the intervention group than in the control group. Nonfatal myocardial infarction and stroke did not differ between intervention and control group in either sex. Within the invited birth cohorts, nonparticipants had a higher total and cause-specific mortality.
Conclusions: Risk factor screening for major diseases such as cardiovascular disease, alcohol abuse, diabetes mellitus and breast cancer, and subsequent treatment of the detected risk factors/diseases - The Malmö Preventive Project - did not reduce total mortality in the intervention group as a whole. In subjects under 40 years of age at entry, total mortality was lower in the intervention group than in the control group. In men, this seemed to be due to a reduction of alcohol-related deaths, whilst in women death from cancer was reduced.