CARDIOVASCULAR HORIZON SCANNING Volume 4 Issue 2

February 16, 2012

Failure to deal with long-term health problems ‘costs NHS £13bn a year’

February 14, 2012

Source: The Guardian

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Date of publication: February 2012

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: A new report published by the King’s Fund: ‘Longterm conditions and mental health – the cost of co-morbidities’ has found that those suffering with conditions such as heart disease are two to three times more likely to suffer mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, costing up to 45% more to treat. The King’s Fund states that there has been a failure in identifying problems and providing support. Mental health provision should not be ‘tacked on to physical care’ but should play an integral part. It warns that the number of people with co-morbid longterm physical and mental health problems is expected to rise by a third over the next decade. The report makes a number of recommendations to improve integration between chronic disease management, primary care services and mental health support.

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 King’s Fund


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


Drinking black tea may lower blood pressure

February 14, 2012

Source: National Heart Forum

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Date of publication: January 2012

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: A randomised controlled trial has assessed the effects of regular consumption of black tea (three cups a day) on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure (BP). After six months, the participants had significantly lower systolic BP and diastolic BP. The authors give some possible causes for long-term black tea consumption lowering blood pressure.

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: Archives of Internal Medicine


Signs to encourage stair use

February 13, 2012

Source: National Heart Forum

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Date of publication: February 2012

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: A recent American report tells how signs in three different public buildings, one a health clinic, encouraging people to use the stairs rather than the lift, led to much increased stair-climbing even after a 9 month period. A simple idea to promote more physical activity, integrated into daily life.

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.


Equality for all: delivering safe care – seven days a week

February 13, 2012

Source: NHS Improvement – Heart

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Date of publication: January 2012

Publication type: Report

In a nutshell: This report gives guidance and case studies as examples of service delivery models from across the NHS, which deliver clinical services outside standard working hours and across weekends. Includes specific case studies of cardiac services.

Length of publication: 72 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.


Heart UK cardiac rehabilitation report

February 13, 2012

Source: Heart UK

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Date of publication: January 2012

Publication type: Report

In a nutshell: This report highlights the variation in cardiac rehabilitation provision and uptake across the country, and makes recommendations to improve the quality of rehabilitation services for all patients.

Length of publication: 50 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: King’s Fund Health Management and Policy alert 17 January 2012


Risk of acute myocardial infarction after the death of a significant person

February 12, 2012

Source: Circulation, 2012, 125 (3) p. 491-496

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Date of publication: January 2012

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: Spousal bereavement and increased risk of mortality in subsequent months is well-documented. However, there are few systematic studies which associate bereavement with the acute onset of myocardial infarction (MI). This study of almost 2000 participants hospitalised for an acute MI found that 13.6% had suffered the loss of a significant person within the last six months. The incidence rate of MI was at its highest within 24 hours of bereavement and declined steadily on each subsequent day.

Length of publication: 6 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.


Controversies over hypertension guidelines

February 12, 2012

Source: BMJ, 2012, 344 (7841)

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Date of publication: January 2012

Publication type: Editorial

In a nutshell: The January 28th issue of the BMJ presents both sides of the controversy over the current hypertension guidance. The 2011 NICE guidelines for the management of hypertension are facing criticism for being too complicated and having an insufficient evidence base. The authors of the NICE guidelines have responded to the criticism, citing that their recommendations are evidence-based, but that the guidelines will evolve as more evidence is found. All sides agree that further robust research needs to be done.

Length of publication: 1 page

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.


Lifetime risks of cardiovascular disease

February 12, 2012

Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2012, 366 (4) p. 321-9

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Date of publication: January 2012

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: This study is a meta-analysis of data from 18 cohort studies involving over 250,000 adults from the last 50 years. Participants were stratified according to blood pressure, cholesterol level, smoking and diabetes. The researchers calculated the lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease according to age, sex, race and other risk factors across multiple birth cohorts. Marked differences in the lifetime risks of cardiovascular disease across risk-factor strata were observed. The authors believe that their findings have important implications for clinical disease prevention and public health practice.

Length of publication: 9 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.