Thursday, 18 April 2019
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Elevated blood pressure (BP) is the main global risk factor for premature morbidity and mortality, and the prevalence of hypertensive heart disease is not declining over time. Improved control of high BP is, therefore, fundamental to further prevention of CVD, and adoption of treatment guidelines can have a positive impact on BP-related outcomes.
Wednesday, 10 April 2019
A large study in the USA has found that starting treatment for sleep apnoea as soon as possible after a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) significantly improves speech impairment and other neurological symptoms as well as walking and other physical functioning. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy was shown to provide even greater benefits than tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) which is a NICE recommended drug treatment for stroke.
Monday, 08 April 2019
Our regular Evidence in Practice feature summarizes recent scientific papers focusing on different aspects of cardiovascular medicine. This month we feature recent research showing that anti-inflammatory biological drugs used to treat severe psoriasis have the potential to prevent heart in patients with the condition. Over one year of treatment, biological therapy improved coronary artery plaques in a manner similar to a low-dose statin.
Tuesday, 02 April 2019
A local GP practice in Milton Keynes has designed a valuable tool to triage patients presenting with chest pain and to help them avoid unnecessary emergency hospital admissions. The locality has no dedicated unit, so patients require either emergency hospital admission, a referral to Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic (RACP), cardiology outpatient clinic (OPD), or management in primary care.
Monday, 01 April 2019
The Public Health England (PHE) action plan for 2017-181 outlined the scale of the cardiovascular disease (CVD) issue we face here in the UK. Affecting around 7 million people, CVD remains a significant cause of disability and death. In England, we know that it is responsible for one in four premature deaths and over a quarter of all deaths, which not only affect the individual but also their families, and impact the wider community too. Healthcare costs associated with CVD are estimated at £8.96 billion and non-healthcare costs at about £4.04 billion. 2 A recent report discusses the evidence for the success of population-based CVD prevention programmes in reducing the burden of illness for individuals and society.
Monday, 01 April 2019
The NHS Health Check is a national programme offering a health check-up every five years to adults in England aged 40 to 74 without a pre-existing cardiovascular condition. One of the largest prevention programmes of its type in the world, the programme is designed to help prevent and detect early signs of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia. 1 This article reviews the evidence that has accumulated since the programme was established.
Thursday, 14 March 2019
Many patients with atrial fibrillation are treated with direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) to reduce the risk of stroke. To maintain patient safety, clinicians must be educated on how to manage DOACs, from safe prescribing to managing complications. A recent audit shows the potential for inadequate monitoring when compared to local clinical protocols.
Friday, 08 March 2019
Given that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is responsible for a quarter of all deaths in the UK and is the largest cause of premature mortality in deprived areas, the NHS Long Term Plan recognises that CVD is the single biggest area where the NHS can save lives over the next 10 years.
Friday, 08 March 2019
In the 70 years since the NHS was founded there have indeed been remarkable successes in reducing mortality from common conditions, an important example being deaths due to heart and circulatory disease. Yet the statistics show that there is more to be done to prevent the toll of premature death and years of disability associated with CVD. For this reason, we welcome the continuing focus on CVD prevention as set out in this publication, produced with the support of PHE and NHS England.