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Healthy Hearts continues to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease

Posted: 7th September 2021

To mark ‘Know Your Numbers Week’, a yearly campaign launched by charity Blood Pressure UK that aims to raise awareness of the importance to control high blood pressure, we are looking at the work done so far to help tackle cardiovascular disease across the region.

We are proud to work in partnership with West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership and our NHS colleagues leading on the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts (WYH Healthy Hearts) initiative to help tackle cardiovascular disease across the area.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is responsible for one in four premature deaths in the UK and it’s one of the biggest causes of death and disability. The NHS Long Term Plan identifies CVD as a clinical priority and the single biggest condition where lives can be saved by the NHS.

The initiative focuses on three specific risk factors to help prevent and reduce the risk of CVD across West Yorkshire:

  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • cholesterol
  • cardiovascular disease risk in patients with diabetes

High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases the risk of developing serious health problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

High blood pressure is one of the most common conditions in this country, more than one in four adults in the UK have the condition. Over 600,000 people living in West Yorkshire are affected by high blood pressure.

We are helping to bring together primary and secondary care as well as partners such as local community pharmacies, voluntary organisations and community groups working in partnership to tackle CVD across the region.

To date WYH Healthy Hearts has worked with practices focusing on reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol and is now preparing to launch the third phase of the project (diabetes).

As part of this project clinical resources have been developed in collaboration with clinicians building on local practice, national and international guidance including clinical searches and treatment guidance as well as information for patients on how to manage and prevent high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Dr Youssef Beaini, General Practitioner and Clinical Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts, said:

“By working closely with our colleagues across primary care and secondary care, we are able to share best practice and adopt the latest advice and treatment guidance to help save more lives. A centralised approach reduces variation and improves outcomes for patients. Cardiovascular disease is still one of the biggest causes of death and disabilities in the UK, but early detection and treatment can help people live longer, healthier lives”.

Impact to date for hypertension

According to our latest data we estimate that approximately 6,700 additional patients have been added to hypertension registers across the region and nearly 22,000 additional patients have their blood pressure controlled to below 140/90.

Inclusion on the hypertension register ensures that primary care is aware of a patient’s condition and can recall for review.  The WYH Healthy Hearts project has a range of searches that interrogate GP clinical systems to look for patients who have not had their blood pressure under control so that they can be identified and treated as necessary.

Find out more information about the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts initiative