In 2014, the Five-Year Forward View articulated clearly that, if the NHS is to be sustainable, it needs to get serious about prevention. The initial focus was on diabetes prevention; now the national prevention focus has switched to prevention of cardiovascular disease.
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has launched new guidelines on syncope (the transient loss of consciousness caused by reduced blood flow to the brain). Syncope is very common with approximately 50% of people having at least one syncopal event during their lifetime. The challenge for doctors is to identify the minority of patients whose syncope is caused by a potentially deadly heart problem.
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.
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.
Recently announced results from the FOURIER trial show that treatment with the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease on optimized statin therapy.
Spring has sprung with lambs in the fields and Easter eggs in the shops. We also have lots happening on the cardiovascular and diabetes front!
Tackling obesity by offering the opportunity to attend a weight loss programme during a routine consultation is effective, welcomed by patients and takes only 30 seconds, according to a new randomised trial of over 1800 people in the UK.
Men and women suffering from heart failure have a higher risk of death than people with some common types of cancer, according to results from the primary care database study. Heart failure is also accompanied by much higher rates of co-morbidity.
The UK charity Heart Valve Voice has developed the first practical guidance in heart valve disease for primary care. The disease is under-diagnosed and yet is increasing in prevalence as the population ages, so there is a need for primary care to plan an appropriate response.
An educational workshop at the 2017 Issues & Answers conference highlighted heart valve disease and the important role of primary care in its effective management. Across the UK approximately 1.5 million people >65 years are currently affected by the disease numbers predicted to more than double to 3.3 million by 2056.