Minister defends controversial NHS Health Checks programme

July 14, 2014

Source: The BMJ

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Date of publication: July 2014

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: The NHS Health Checks Programme was designed to cut cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. People aged 40 – 74 are invited to attend a check-up once every five years to assess their risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes. However, the programme has been criticised for being ineffective and a waste of money. Jane Ellison, the public health minister for England, defended the programme when she appeared before MPs on the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

Length of publication: 1 page

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.


Hypertension: evidence update March 2013

March 18, 2013

Source: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

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Date of publication: March 2013

Publication type: Practice guidelines

In a nutshell: NICE has published an evidence update on hypertension, summarising a selection of new evidence published since the last literature search. Topics include the diagnosis of hypertension, antihypertensive drug treatment and patient education.

Length of publication: 27 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: NHS Evidence


Consultation on the draft document ‘Together for health – a cardiac delivery plan’

August 15, 2012

Source: Welsh Government

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Date of publication: August 2012

Publication type: Care plan

In a nutshell: Cardiac disease is the largest cause of death among the Welsh population. The Welsh Government has launched a draft strategy for a National Cardiac Delivery Plan, setting out its vision for Wales and what this entails for cardiac services in the NHS. The consultation is now open for comment, and will remain open until the 26th October 2012. Views from clinicians, NHS managers and service users are welcome.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.


NICE guidance points the way to better diagnosis and management of common cardiovascular condition

August 15, 2012

Source: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

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Date of publication: August 2012

Publication type: Press release

In a nutshell: NICE has published a clinical guideline on the diagnosis and management of lower limb peripheral arterial disease. The guideline focuses on providing information, advice, support and treatment for patients with peripheral arterial disease and identifies key priorities for implementation, such as offering a supervised exercise programme.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: NICE clinical guidelines CG147


Blood pressure alone not enough to determine heart risk

February 14, 2012

Source: British Heart Foundation

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Date of publication: January 2012

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: A meta-analysis published in the Lancet has shown that a difference in systolic blood pressure of 15mm Hg between the left and the right arm indicated an increased risk of peripheral vascular disease. More research is needed to assess whether measuring blood pressure on both arms to assess vascular disease risk should become standard practice.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: The Lancet


Calls for 24-hour blood pressure monitoring

September 12, 2011

Source: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

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Date of publication: August 2011

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: NICE is now recommending that hypertension should be diagnosed using ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) over a 24 hour period. ABPM involves a mobile blood pressure monitor that straps around the patient’s waist and measures blood pressure numerous times over 24 hours. This is a change to the existing guidelines.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.


NHS failing to screen for deadly heart condition

February 10, 2011

Source: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

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Date of publication: January 2011

Publication type: Press release

In a nutshell: 100.000 people are at risk of developing familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) as trusts fail to act on NICE guidelines which call for early diagnosis. A UK-wide audit found that very few families were systematically genetically screened for the inherited condition.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.


Simplified Framingham model of coronary risk misdiagnosing millions

October 7, 2010

Source: British Journal of Healthcare Computing and Information Management

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Date of publication: 16th September 2010

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: Reports on US research which cautions  that the Framingham model, when used in a simplified form as a points-based clinical tool, has been shown to significantly over-estimate CVD risk in many, and under-estimate in some. There is a risk that significant numbers of patients may have been under- or over-treated through having been incorrectly assessed. The original model, although more complex, is much more accurate, and should be used in preference to the points-based tool.

Length of publication: 1 web page

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.


iPhone app ‘detects arrhythmia’

September 14, 2010

Source: Healthcare Republic

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Date of publication: August 2010

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: The charity Arrhythmia Alliance, has launched an iPhone application called ‘Know Your Pulse’, which aims to detect signs of cardiac arrhythmia and therefore improve diagnosis. Users record their own pulse reading over 30 seconds and are then advised on whether they are suffering from an irregular or unusually fast or slow heartbeat. The Arrhythmia Alliance campaign aims to raise awareness of arrhythmia, and also remind healthcare professionals of the importance of conducting regular pulse checks during routine patient check-ups.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.


New guidelines propose regular heart checks for all Scots over 40

May 11, 2010

Source: Herald Scotland, 29th April 2010

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Date of publication: April 2010

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: Guidelines launched in Scotland last month specify that all patients aged 40 and over should be invited to have their blood pressure tested every five years. The standards also state that GPs should check whether their patients are smokers every two years. The manadatory guidelines focus on preventing heart disease, but patients who have developed heart disease will also be given a variety of options to help improve their health under the new standard of care.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: National Heart Forum


Role of waist circumference in predicting the risk of high blood pressure in children

March 10, 2010

Source: International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 2010, 5 (2), 143-150

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Date of publication: April, 2010

Publication type: Research

In a nutshell: This study aimed to evaluate the use of measuring waist circumference to identify children with high blood pressure. The researchers analysed data on body mass index, waist circumference and blood pressure in 3,678 children. The results showed that waist circumference is a controversial marker in high-risk children of normal weight.

Length of publication: 8 pages

Some important notes: You will need an NHS Athens username and password to access this article. Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.


HEART UK Familial hypercholesterolaemia toolkit

March 9, 2010

Source: Heart Improvement eBulletin: issue 131, 23 February 2010

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Date of publication: 2010

Publication type: Best Practice

In a nutshell: This toolkit is intended to assist commissioners and service providers with implementation of the NICE FH guideline 71 (2008).  The prevalence of FH, which greatly increases risk of death from premature heart disease,  is thought to be at a level equivalent to type 1 diabetes in the population. Up to 85% of patients with the condition have not yet been identified or treated. The toolkit mainly covers developing services, diagnosing patients and rolling out cascade testing.

Length of publication: 1 website

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: HEART UK