GPs must dole out pills to millions more Brits under ambitious plans to slash more than 150,000 heart attacks and strokes annually. Health bosses w
GPs must dole out pills to millions more Brits under ambitious plans to slash more than 150,000 heart attacks and strokes annually.
Health bosses want to identify an extra 3.2 million people with three deadly cardiac conditions – high blood pressure, raised cholesterol or an irregular heartbeat – by 2029.
They say at least half should be given drugs, such as statins and beta-blockers, to cut their risk of dying.
Heart disease and stroke remain the nation’s biggest killers.
Currently, just 57 per cent of Brits with high blood pressure are aware of their illness.
It is known as the silent killer, because the symptoms often go unnoticed until it is too late.
NHS bosses have now set a target of picking up 80 per cent of cases within a decade.
They also want nearly half of patients at high risk of heart problems to be on statins by 2029.
Millions of people are needlessly at risk of heart attacks or strokes when it could be prevented
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary
Currently, only a third are on the cholesterol-busting pills – meaning GPs will be expected to prescribe the drug to an extra 100,000 Brits.
The new targets have been drawn up by Public Health England and NHS England, with the support of more than 40 charities and medical bodies.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Millions of people are needlessly at risk of heart attacks or strokes when it could be prevented.
“So I want to help more people take the time out to protect their future health and get checked.”
Under the targets, four million more older Brits will be given heart checks – up from 49 per cent to 75 per cent of 40 to 74-year-olds.
PHE boss Duncan Selbie said prevention is better than cure.
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He said: “We know our PIN numbers but not the numbers that save our lives.
“Thousands of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented by more people knowing their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and by seeking help early.”
England’s top doctor, NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis, said: “These ambitions will save thousands of lives by identifying and targeting people most at risk of these preventable conditions.”
The NHS has set a target of picking up 80 per cent of cases by 2029[/caption]
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