REGIONAL NEWS: Bradford campaign marks its first year of making hearts healthier

Bradford’s Healthy Hearts campaign is marking its first year of business with the release of new figures which show a dramatic improvement in the prevention of heart attack and stroke among local patients.

The few figures reveal Bradford’s Healthy Hearts has helped 10,000 patients in the Bradford area and has already prevented 50 heart attacks and 50 strokes.  More than 800 people in the Bradford area are now on vital stroke preventive medicine which has reduced the risk of stroke by up to 75% in these patients, avoiding nearly 50 devastating strokes per year.

Bradford has one of the worst death rates from heart disease in England.

Bradford has one of the worst death rates from heart disease in England.

The risk of stroke for people with atrial fibrillation (AF) – a heart rhythm disorder – can be reduced by more than two-thirds by taking an anticoagulant medication – such as warfarin – prescribed by a doctor.  In the first phase of the campaign, GPs also reviewed patients taking cholesterol-lowering statins to ensure that they were receiving the best care available to reduce their risk of a future stroke and heart attack.

By switching to different statins, over 5,000 patients have reduced their cholesterol level, and over 4,000 patients at moderate to high risk of heart attack and stroke have been prescribed statins to reduce their risk.

The next phase of the campaign aims to tackle high blood pressure (hypertension). It is estimated that more than 50,000 people in Bradford have undiagnosed high blood pressure. Without noticeable symptoms, if left untreated, hypertension can damage arteries and organs, helping to cause narrowing of the arteries. This, in turn, results in strokes and heart attacks, as well as angina, heart failure, kidney failure and narrowed arteries in the legs.

The campaign, run by NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is aimed at reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack in people who are in risk groups and is being developed over three years targeting three main areas:

  • vascular disease – including patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and peripheral arterial disease
  • atrial fibrillation (AF) – a condition which triggers abnormalities in the rhythm of the heart
  • heart failure.

All the CCG’s 41 practices are involved in the campaign, which also has its own website, packed with lots of information about heart disease and healthy living advice: www.bradfordshealthyhearts.co.uk

The campaign also scooped two national awards in the General Practice Awards 2015.

Dr Youssef Beaini, clinical lead for cardiovascular disease at Bradford Districts CCG, said:

Bradford’s Healthy Hearts has had a tremendous first year and has had a really positive impact on people’s health, which is very encouraging. It’s been a true partnership approach with the GP practices to identify people at risk of heart disease and get them on the right treatment to improve their care.

“Bradford has one of the worst death rates from heart disease in England. That’s why one of the CCG’s main priorities is to reduce the number of deaths caused by heart attack and stroke.

“As well as ensuring that the best possible care and treatment are available for local people, Bradford’s Healthy Hearts aims to raise awareness about how to make the right lifestyle choices to reduce the chance of being affected by avoid heart disease and stroke.”

The Bradford’s Healthy Hearts team will showcase its achievements to Professor Huon Gray, national clinical director for heart disease at NHS England, when he visits Bradford on 11 February

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