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Heart care needs to get better

18th September 2009

The UK’s health regulator has warned there needs to be a renewed drive to tackle cardiovascular disease (CVD).

heart surgery

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is concerned over a number of areas where doctors could improve, particularly in the way they report cases of CVD in deprived areas.

Figures show that about 1% of adults do not have their heart disease or stroke problems recorded but in areas of deprivation this rises to 7%.

The study noted a decline in heart disease but added that the UK still has one of the highest rates of CVD in Europe, despite the government hitting its target to reduce deaths among the under 75s by 40%.

CQC chairman Barbara Young, said: "This disease is likely to touch every single one of us at some point in our lives. It is good news that the number of deaths has been driven down, but resting on those laurels is really not an option."

The CQC examined information on the performance of 8,300 GP practices and 152 primary care trusts and found that statin prescribing and cholesterol management could both improve alongside the recording of CVD.

The British Heart Foundation expressed alarm that people in deprived areas were missing out.

Spokeswoman Betty McBride added: “If we are to give people in deprived areas the services they deserve we clearly need to prioritise them in future plans.”

The Department of Health said tackling the issues raised remained a priority and problems across society would be picked up through health checks for the over 40s and the Change4Life campaign.

 

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