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Found 20 results
  1. Content Article
    Publicly available data from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) shows a persistently high number of excess deaths involving cardiovascular disease (CVD) in England since the beginning of the pandemic. This analysis of by the British Heart Foundation looks at this situation in more detail.
  2. News Article
    Record numbers of people have been hospitalised with heart attacks in the wake of the pandemic, official figures show. On Tuesday, health chiefs will launch a campaign urging those with symptoms to seek help, with fears that too many cases are being detected too late. The new figures for England show that more than 84,000 patients were admitted to hospital because of a heart attack in 2021/22 – a rise of more than 7,000 in a year. It follows warnings that heart deaths have risen by more than 500 a week since the first lockdown, with a fall in the numbers prescribed vital medication amid struggles to access GP care. Health officials are afraid that people are still failing to come forward, adding to the collateral damage caused by the pandemic. From this week, an NHS advert will encourage people to call 999 as soon as they experience symptoms of a heart attack, such as squeezing across the chest, sweating and a feeling of uneasiness, so people have the best chance of survival. Prof Nick Linker, a cardiologist and NHS national clinical director for heart disease, said: “Cardiovascular disease causes one in four deaths across the country, so it is vital that people are aware of the early signs of a heart attack. Every moment that passes during a heart attack increases heart muscle damage, and nearly all of the damage takes place within the first few hours, so if you experience symptoms such as a sensation of squeezing or tightness across the chest alongside sweating, nausea, or a sense of unease, please call 999 so you have the best chance of a full recovery”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 15 August 2023
  3. News Article
    Dozens of patients died or suffered ‘severe harm’ after long waits for ambulances during a three-month period in a health system facing ‘extreme pressure’ on its emergency services. The 29 serious incidents in Cornwall included patients waiting many hours for assistance despite being in “extreme pain”, patients having suspected sepsis, patients in cardiac arrest, and patients experiencing a stroke. The incidents were reported to the Care Quality Commission by staff at South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust during an inspection of the Cornwall integrated care system’s urgent and emergency care services. According to the CQC, the pressures on the ambulance service were “unrelenting”, while “significant work” was needed to “alleviate extreme pressure”. This meant there was a “high level of risk to people’s health when trying to access urgent and emergency care in the county”, the report said. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 27 May 2022
  4. Content Article
    Diagnostic errors are a known patient safety concern across all clinical settings, including the emergency department (ED). The authors from the John Hopkins University conducted a systematic review to determine the most frequent diseases and clinical presentations associated with diagnostic errors (and resulting harms) in the ED, measured error and harm frequency, as well as assessing causal factors.
  5. News Article
    Around 5000 fewer people were admitted to hospitals in England for acute coronary syndrome than expected from January to the end of May this year, an analysis has shown. The results, published in the Lancet, indicate that many patients have missed out on lifesaving treatments during the COVID-19 outbreak. This decline started before the UK lockdown began on 23 March and “was qualitatively similar throughout the country, with only minor variations … in different demographic groups,” the authors wrote. Among patients admitted to hospital with acute myocardial infarction there was a “sustained increase in the proportion ... receiving [a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for acute myocardial infarction] on the day of admission and a continued reduction in the median length of stay,” they added. “The reduced number of admissions … is likely to have resulted in increases in out-of-hospital deaths and long-term complications of myocardial infarction and missed opportunities to offer secondary prevention treatment for patients with coronary heart disease,” they concluded. Read full story Source: BMJ, 15 July 2020
  6. News Article
    The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically curtailed the provision of health services for non-communicable diseases, says a survey of 155 countries by the World Health Organization conducted over three weeks in May. In the survey poorer countries were the most likely to report disrupted services, but some 94% of responding countries had reassigned health ministry staff from work on NCDs to dealing with the pandemic. Hypertension treatment has been partially or completely disrupted in 53% of the countries surveyed, diabetes treatment in 49%, cancer treatment in 42%, and cardiovascular emergency responses in 31% of countries, the survey found. In the Netherlands, new cancer diagnoses have fallen by 25% since the pandemic lockdown began. In rural India, 30% fewer cardiac emergencies reached health facilities in March 2020 than the previous year. Rehabilitation services, which are often key to a healthy recovery after severe COVID-19, have been disrupted in 63% of countries surveyed. Screening campaigns have been put on hold in more than half. WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, “The results of this survey confirm what we’ve been hearing from countries for a number of weeks now. Many people who need treatment for diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes have not been receiving the health services and medicines they need since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It’s vital that countries find innovative ways to ensure that essential services for NCDs continue, even as they fight COVID-19.” Read full story Source: BMJ, 3 June 2020
  7. News Article
    London doctors are using artificial intelligence to predict which patients with chest pains are at greatest risk of death. A trial at Barts Heart Centre, in Smithfield, and the Royal Free Hospital, in Hampstead, found that poor blood flow was a “strong predictor” of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Doctors used computer programmes to analyse images of the heart from more than 1,000 patients and cross-referenced the scans with their health over the next two years. The computers were “taught” to search for indicators of future “adverse cardiovascular outcomes” and are now used in a real-time basis to help doctors identify who is most at risk. Read full story Source: Evening Standard, 15 February 2020
  8. Content Article
    In this interview with Dr. Robert Mentz, Editor-in-Chief and Dr. Anu Lala, Deputy Editor at the Journal of Cardiac Failure, Kristin and Will Flanary (AKA Lady and Dr. Glaucomflecken) share their experience as co-patient and patient. Will suffered a cardiac arrest in May 2020 and the experience of discovering her husband, having to perform CPR and waiting in isolation for news left his wife Kristin with significant trauma. The interview explores the experience of those involved in medical trauma who are not the patient themselves, the 'co-patient', and the ways in which healthcare professionals can support them to process their experience.
  9. Content Article
    A new study by Staffordshire University shows that people who understand their ‘heart age’ are more likely to make healthy lifestyle changes. 50 preventable deaths from heart attack or stroke happen every day and Public Health England’s online Heart Age Test (HAT) allows users to compare their real age to the predicted age of their heart. The tool aims to provide early warning signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, encouraging members of the public to reduce their heart age through diet and exercise and to take up the offer of an NHS Health Check.
  10. Content Article
    This report summarises some of the key findings from the full 2020 National Cardiac Audit Programme (NCAP). It provides useful background information and highlights what you can do to help improve cardiac health for you and your friends and family. It includes answers to some frequently asked questions and links to where to go for more information or support.
  11. Content Article
    The Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Audit (CVDPREVENT) is a national primary care audit that automatically extracts routinely held GP data. This tool provides open access to the data, with clear, actionable insights for those tasked with improving cardiovascular health in England.
  12. Content Article
    This is the first annual report for CVDPREVENT, an audit commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP). It presents analysis of data recorded by GPs up to March 2020, providing a pre-pandemic baseline for indicators of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention. The analysis focuses on understanding variation in identification, diagnosis and management of people at risk of CVD against metrics of deprivation, age, sex, and ethnicity. There has also been further analysis undertaken on comorbidities amongst those with conditions that put them at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
  13. Content Article
    The National Vascular Registry (NVR) has published a report on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on vascular surgery in the UK, presenting key findings from NVR data throughout 2020 and 2021. NVR previously reported on data as at 25 September 2020, which showed that Covid-19 infection in patients undergoing vascular surgical procedures significantly increased the risk of respiratory complications and mortality. Here, they update this analysis, using data through to the end of 2021, and explore whether the Covid-19 vaccination programme provided protection to patients against this life-threatening complication. One finding is that, between March 2020 and Dec 2021, confirmed postoperative Covid-19 diagnoses were most common among non-elective procedures, ranging from 18.4% (non-elective AAA repair) to 27.5% (major lower limb amputation). For elective procedures, the reported rates of confirmed postoperative Covid-19 diagnoses were lower, ranging from 1.6% (elective AAA repair) to 4.1% (lower-limb bypass). Other key findings include: There was only a modest rise during the first Covid-19 wave (Mar-Jun 2020) with a larger rise during the second wave (Nov 2020-Feb 2021) There was a different pattern for respiratory complications after surgery, with higher rates observed in both wave 1 and wave 2 The period from March to December 2021 was associated with rates of respiratory complications and in-hospital postoperative mortality returning to levels observed pre-pandemic in 2019 Overall, the report concludes that the vaccination programme had a modest benefit to patients in reducing the risk of respiratory complications, and therefore carries a public health message relevant for both national and international audiences.
  14. News Article
    At the age of 49, Sarah Fisher feels her life is on a knife-edge. She had a heart attack during lockdown and has subsequently been diagnosed with heart failure. In July, she was told she needed to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted, which can shock the heart back into rhythm when it detects a potential cardiac arrest. But 12 weeks on, she is still waiting. "I could have a cardiac arrest at any point," Sarah says. "It is awful not knowing what is going to happen. "I am on the urgent list – but the infection rates are rising and the clinics are closing." "I don't know when I will get it. "There are so many people in my position – we don't have Covid but our lives are at risk too. We are the forgotten victims of this pandemic." British Heart Foundation analysis of Office for National Statistics data for England and Wales found almost 800 extra deaths from heart disease among under-65s from March to July - 15% more than would be expected. The rate of death was highest during the full lockdown - but, worryingly, the trend continued afterwards. The charity blames delays in people seeking care, as well as reduced access to routine tests and treatments. And NHS England figures show a sharp rise in the numbers waiting over six weeks for a whole range of key tests, including echocardiograms for hearts. Read full story Source: BBC News, 15 October 2020
  15. News Article
    Tens of thousands of people avoided going to hospital for life-threatening illnesses such as heart attacks during Britain's coronavirus crisis, data has revealed. Shocking figures reveal that admissions for seven deadly non-coronavirus conditions between March and June fell by more than 173,000 on the previous year. Previous data for England shows there were nearly 6,000 fewer admissions for heart attacks in March and April compared with last year, and almost 137,000 fewer cancer admissions from March to June. Analysis by the Daily Mail found that the trends were alarmingly similar across the board for patients who suffered strokes, diabetes, dementia, mental health conditions and eating disorders. Health experts said the statistics were 'troubling' and warned that many patients may have died or suffered longterm harm as a result. Gbemi Babalola, senior analyst at the King's Fund think-tank said: "People with some of the most serious health concerns are going without the healthcare they desperately need. Compared with the height of the pandemic, the NHS is seeing an increase in the number of patients as services restart, and significant effort is going into new ways to treat and support patients." "But the fact remains that fewer people are being treated by NHS services." Read full story Source: Daily Mail, 13 September 2020
  16. News Article
    A new study by Staffordshire University shows that people who understand their ‘heart age’ are more likely to make healthy lifestyle changes. 50 preventable deaths from heart attack or stroke happen every day and Public Health England’s online Heart Age Test (HAT) allows users to compare their real age to the predicted age of their heart. The tool aims to provide early warning signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, encouraging members of the public to reduce their heart age through diet and exercise and to take up the offer of an NHS Health Check. CHAD Research Associate Dr Victoria Riley, who led the study, said: “Deaths from heart attack or stroke are often preventable and so addressing health issues early is incredibly important. Our findings show that pre-screening tests, such as the HAT, can encourage individuals to evaluate their lifestyle choices and increase their intentions to change behaviour.” Read full story Source: Brigher Side of News, 10 October 2021
  17. Content Article
    More women than men die annually from ischaemic heart disease (IHD) in the developed world. This represents a reversal of fortune from previous decades and places women firmly as the new majority now impacted. Notably, the adverse IHD gender gap is the widest in relatively young women, where myocardial infarction (MI) mortality is 2-fold higher in women under 50 years compared with age-matched men. While it is now clear that there are many gender differences in IHD outcomes, including more frequent angina diagnosis, more office visits, more avoidable hospitalisations, higher MI mortality, and higher rates of heart failure in women compared with men, the aetiologies contributing to these differences are less clear.
  18. Content Article
    In this briefing the British Heart Foundation highlights the stark inequalities in awareness, diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks that are leading to women needlessly dying every day in the UK.
  19. Content Article
    In this article for Stylist, Sarah Graham, founder of the Hysterical Women blog, looks at the statistics around gender and heart attacks and gender. She highlights the worrying disparities and argues that sexism plays a dangerous role. The term Yentl Syndrome is used to describe the different ways men and women are treated after heart attacks.
  20. Content Article
    Understanding Patient Data has produced a series of animations to explain how data saves lives. Following the journeys of patients with cancer, a heart attack, diabetes, dementia and asthma, they show the huge range of ways data is used to improve care, and the safeguards that are in place to protect confidentiality. 
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