During the pandemic, nearly half a million people in the UK missed out on starting medication to help prevent heart attacks and strokes, a new study suggests.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) team looked at prescribing data for the first 18 months after Covid hit.
Some 491,000 people (27,000 a month) appear to have missed out on blood pressure pills, and 316,000 did not get treatment to lower their cholesterol.
The team says more needs to be done to make sure that anyone who needs treatment gets it.
During the pandemic, normal NHS services were severely disrupted. For example, there was a reduction in diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of high blood pressure, and other heart and circulation disease risk factors.
Although the NHS took action, including providing more than 220,000 blood pressure monitors for people to use at home, data shows two million fewer people in England were recorded as having controlled hypertension in 2021 compared to the previous year.
Lead investigator Prof Reecha Sofat, who is based at the University of Liverpool, said the findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, highlight the impact Covid has had on other important health conditions: "Despite the incredible work done by NHS staff, our data show that we're still not identifying people with cardiovascular risk factors at the same rate as we were before the pandemic. "
Source: BBC News, 20 January 2023
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