Transforming the prevention of cardiovascular disease
Heart attacks, strokes and other forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD) cause a quarter of all deaths in the UK. CVD is also a leading cause of morbidity and costs the NHS an estimated £9 billion a year and economy around £19 billion annually. And, as a major driver of health inequalities, it accounts for a quarter of the life expectancy gap between deprived and affluent communities.
Hypertension and high cholesterol are leading risk factors for CVD and are highly modifiable, with treatment substantially lowering the risk of CVD.
Despite this, both are underdiagnosed and undertreated. For example, around 30% of people with hypertension are unaware they have it and, of those who have been diagnosed with hypertension, around a third are not treated to target.
Blood Pressure Optimisation Programme (BPO)
The AHSN Network launched a national blood pressure optimisation programme in 2022, which aims to transform the prevention of CVD by optimising the clinical care and self-management of people with hypertension.
Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) will support primary care networks (PCNs) and Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) to:
identify patients with previously undiagnosed high blood pressure through case finding interventions