Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the commonest sustained cardiac dysrhythmia, but is asymptomatic in about one quarter of patients. Case finding with subsequent assessment of the risk of stroke and bleeding are essential to ensure that the right patients receive appropriate intervention with oral anticoagulation.
A major study funded by the National Institute for Health Research concludes that more frequent lipid monitoring strategies are cost-effective when compared with other longer interval strategies to guide treatment for prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Death rates from coronary heart disease (CHD) have halved in most industrialised countries since the 1970s and those in the UK by 44% over the last decade in people under 65. But death rates from cardiovascular disease have been falling more slowly in the UK compared to other countries, particularly in the younger age group. CHD deaths fell by 49% in men aged 55-64 but only by 30% in younger men aged 35-44 between 1994 and 2004 in the UK. In women, there was only a 20% drop in the 35-44 age group compared to a 56% fall in deaths in the older age bracket. Why are younger people doing so badly and what does this mean for their future?
Aspirin is the most widely used long-term antiplatelet therapy, achieving benefits in patients with a range of cardiovascular conditions by blocking one of the blood clotting pathways. It is cheap and relatively safe, despite the possible risks of gastric irritation or bleeding. In this article, we explore what we know about aspirin, together with its pros and cons in patients with cardiovascular disease.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of those terms that we are hearing more and more in general practice. It is an important risk factor for stroke – particularly in older people – making it a good candidate for primary care teams to target in efforts to prevent cardiovascular disease.
This month’s Back to Basics feature is a useful wallchart showing estimates of alcohol content and calorie counts of typical alcoholic drinks. Many people forget the considerable calorific content of drinks and are unaware of how much pure alcohol they are consuming. Having these facts to hand are useful for the patients we see in practice and for our own healthy living!
This useful wall chart shows how just 5-10% weight loss improves important markers of cardiovascular health, including lipids, blood pressure, diabetes risk and inflammation.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is now classified using a combination of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and proteinuria measured by albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR). The aim is to more accurately define each patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease and worsening CKD, and to ensure that patients are monitored appropriately.