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Detection and treatment of HBP and AF fall behind guidelines

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By lealegraien@cogora.com
19 February 2018

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Detection and treatment of high blood pressure (HBP) and atrial fibrillation (AF) are falling behind National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

Not treated to target

Detection and treatment of high blood pressure (HBP) and atrial fibrillation (AF) are falling behind National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

Not treated to target

Reports from the Stroke Association and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) reveal that one in three people diagnosed with HBP do not receive treatment to the clinical blood pressure targets recommended by NICE.

They also show that 19% of people diagnosed with AF, who are eligible for anticoagulation medication, do not benefit treatment, despite NICE recommendations.

BHF director of innovation in health and wellbeing Jenny Hargrave said that ‘there is an urgent need to address this growing epidemic through better detection and treatment’.

She continued: ‘Hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer, as most people with HBP don’t experience any symptoms.

‘Once diagnosed, people can take action to lower their blood pressure and reduce their risk of a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke.’

Overall, there are around 1.4 million people in the country diagnosed with AF – which include 350,000 of these unaware of their condition – and an average of 26,000 people with undiagnosed HBP per Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Saving money

Public Health England (PHE) estimates that diseases caused by HBP cost NHS England over £2bn a year.

It says that by 'reducing the HBP of the nation as a whole', as well as diagnosing and treating 30% more people with HBP, more than £1bn of 'NHS and social care spend could be avoided over 10 years'.

Deputy director of policy and influencing at the Stroke Association Alexis Kolodziejsaid that ‘the annual costs of stroke care in the NHS will go up to £10.2bn by 2035’.

He added: ‘Much more needs to be done to manage AF and reduce preventable strokes.

‘If we don’t take action, the number of strokes in UK is predicted to soar by 44% in the next 20 years.

‘But it doesn’t have to be like this. If everyone with AF had the treatment they needed, and health services and CCGs made stroke prevention a priority, around 7,000 strokes could be prevented and 2,100 lives could be saved every year.’

CCG can find tailored information to improve stroke and heart attack prevention, detection and treatment here.

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