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GPs go forth

PHE launches campaign to ‘detect and treat millions more’ with high blood pressure

GPs and health professionals will have to conduct more blood pressure and cholesterol checks as part of a new campaign by Public Health England and NHS England.

The new campaign is aimed at preventing or delaying cardiovascular disease by improving detection and treatment of its major causes - high blood pressure, cholesterol and atrial fibrillation.

PHE and NHSE want to increase the proportion of 40- to 74-year-old patients who have received a formal CVD risk check and a high cholestrol check - from 49% now to 75% by 2029.  

PHE estimates more than five million people are currently living with undiagnosed high blood pressure in England.

The two organisations also want to ensure millions more people with high blood pressure are detected and treated - so that 80% of people with hypertension are diagnosed by 2029, instead of the current 57% (6.8 million people).

In addition, by 2029 they want to see 45% of 40- to 74-year-old patients at high risk of developing CVD to be treated with statins - up from the current 35%.

As part of the campaign, launched today, people aged 40 to 74 years old are being urged to get their free NHS Health Check, which helps detect the early warning signs of CVD.

It is hoped the new efforts to tackle CVD will help meet the NHS long-term plan's goal to prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases within the next 10 years.

The new targets were launched today by PHE and NHSE alongside a coalition of more than 40 organisations - including charities and the RCGP - that make up the National CVD Prevention System Leadership Forum.

PHE chief executive Duncan Selbie said: 'We know our PIN numbers but not the numbers that save our lives.

'Thousands of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented by more people knowing their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and by seeking help early. Prevention is always better than cure.'

Today's campaign follows a local pilot of PHE’s controversial ‘heart age’ test, which sent nearly 800 patients to their GP over two months.

Last year, Pulse revealed funding from charities, public health bodies and pharmaceutical companies for disease awareness campaigns were driving healthy patients to their GP.



Readers' comments (6)

  • Yawn, keep flogging the dead horse, bet its GPs best placed again FFS!

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  • Sadly, checking BPs is not enough. Acting on a raised reading is whats needed.

    Consider the scenario- patient with diabetes seen in secondary care which records a raised BP but makes no comment on it. The surgerys office staff ensure this data along with eGFR,HbA1C cholesterol etc is cherry-picked and entered on the EMIS notes where it remains in plain view and is acted upon by no GP who sees the patient for something else "because the diabetes is looked after by the hospital".

    Its illuminating and yet so depressing reading the notes properly.

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  • IDGAF - "because the diabetes is looked after by the hospital".

    Really - looked after by the hospital...a diabetic? Really really? Can I come and work where you do - 'cause the idea of secondary care looking after a diabetic is something that doesn't happen in these parts.

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  • Lucky all those Magic Pixies the new contract has promised will be arriving shortly on their unicorns to help with the extra work.

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  • This is wrong on so mamy levels and big pharma will be licking their lips with joy.

    Firstly - the emphasis needs to be on population prevention such as smoking, exercise and obesity, rather than process. Legislation is a key part of population prevention but governments are too squeamish for this.

    Secondly, all 65 year old men fsll into the high risk CVD category. Why the hell are we medicalising the ageing process?

    Lastly, why the hell is the target to increase statin use in 40 - 74 year olds? Surely the appropriate target is to reduce their risk score by stopping smoking or reducing BP through weight loss and exercise?

    We have completely lost it in modern medicine when drugs come before lifestyle. Drugs should be last resort, not first.

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  • Didn’t the recent study and the Cochrane review agree that treating high bp under 160/100 does not reduce mortality but does cause falls AKI etc etc.

    Public health is not our job

    We have plenty of sick patients.

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