Health matters: preventing cardiovascular disease

Trial results of Brilinta for heart attack patients following thrombolysis shows it met safety endpoint in secondary analysis of Phase III TREAT trial

The Department of Health and Social Care has published a new professional resource on improving the detection and treatment of the high-risk conditions atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The NHS Long Term Plan includes a major ambition to prevent 150,000 strokes, heart attacks and vascular dementia cases over the next 10 years. Improving the detection and treatment of the high-risk conditions atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol has the potential to unlock considerable health gains.

These common conditions can cause cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and strokes, and many cases of dementia. Although treatment of these conditions is very effective at preventing cardiovascular events, late diagnosis and under treatment is common.

The Department of Health and Social Care says that achieving the ambitions requires a whole system effort. In the past, primary care has been thought of as responsible for identifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Although it does have a vital role to play, primary care is overstretched and there are many other ways of finding the people most at risk so that they can get the help they need.

Health matters: preventing cardiovascular disease says that too many people are still living with undetected and poorly managed atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol. Working with partners, Public Health England and NHS England have agreed ambitions which seek to address the A, B and C of secondary prevention and reduce the health inequalities associated with cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years.