Cut inequalities to improve CVD therapy, heart czar says

Health inequalities must be tackled if treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is to improve, according to heart czar Professor Roger Boyle (pictured).

Writing with RCGP president Professor Steve Field and others in the British Journal of General Practice, Professor Boyle says there is ‘no room for complacency’ in the treatment of CVD.

'Despite the almost 50% reduction in cardiovascular mortality over the last decade, the reductions have not been equally distributed,’ the authors say.

'There remains a major differential between the first and fifth quintile of deprivation,’ they add. ‘Further improvement will require cross government activity and clinicians need to continue to take into account issues such as deprivation, ethnicity, sex, and age when making clinical decisions with patients and working with them regarding lifestyle and interventions that reduce risk.’

Also, more needs to be done in a lot of regions to identify undiagnosed cases, Professor Boyle and his co-authors argue. ‘The prevalence of CVD reported in QOF registers falls well short of the predicted prevalence in many areas of the country where we need to draw the conclusion that case ascertainment remains less than ideal.’

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