UCLPartners has been working closely with local health services to identify and
treat people living with Atrial
Fibrillation (AF) – a common type of irregular heart rhythm that can increase
risk of stroke.
estimated that over 100,000
people living within the UCLPartners footprint have the condition, but some
remain undiagnosed. AF is responsible for approximately 20% of all strokes and
can leave survivors with disabling consequences. Health and social care costs for
every stroke equate to around £45,000 over five years.
Over the past
year, efforts by UCLPartners in collaboration with healthcare services in north
central and north east London have resulted in a significant increase in the
number of people living with AF receiving anticoagulants – a blood-thinning
medication to prevent clots that can more than halve the risk of having a
stroke. Between April 2018 and March 2019 anticoagulation rates in these areas
rose from 80.5% to 82.7%.
increase in people receiving this lifesaving therapy is due in the most part to
a ‘virtual clinic’ model rolled out in the area, which partners anticoagulant specialists
(usually pharmacists of nurses) with GPs, who advise on the best treatment for
people identified as having AF.
Over the last two
years, UCLPartners has also distributed 670 mobile ECG devices across the
partnership, which has contributed to the increase in those living with AF
receiving a diagnosis.
Dr Matt Kearney, Programme Director
for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention said:
“Stroke can result in premature deaths and for those who survive, the
consequences of stroke can be life changing. Improving the detection and
management of high-risk conditions such as atrial fibrillation to reduce stroke
is a key element of the NHS Long Term Plan. Our work is supporting delivery of
this and helping to protect the health of our local population.
“We’re delighted that we have been able to identify and treat so many in
our region living with AF and we will continue working with our partners to
identify those still undiagnosed”
Following this success, UCLPartners will now be working with local health
services to improve the detection and treatment of two other high risk
conditions – high blood pressure and high cholesterol – in order to help
prevent hundreds of heart attacks and strokes in north London communities.
more about the work we are doing to prevent CVD