The online home for the primary care professionals managing patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related diseases.

Editorial

Thursday, 27 January 2011
The first general practitioners with a special interest (GPwSI) in cardiology services were set up more than 10 years ago but there is little information available on the national level about service provision. The authors invited all GPwSIs in cardiology to complete a survey detailing their qualifications and experience, range of services provided, capacity and clinical governance. The results are presented here.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Hyperkalaemia is a common electrolyte disorder which, when severe, can cause lifethreatening cardiac arrhythmias and paralysis of the respiratory muscles. It is therefore crucial for clinicians to have a clear understanding of its management. Hyperkalaemia is usually caused by a combination of factors, but renal impairment and drugs are often implicated. The rising prevalence of chronic kidney disease and increasing use of medications that interact with the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system have resulted in a sharp rise in the prevalence of hyperkalaemia.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Targeted case-finding for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention may be preferable to universal screening. Quality Improvement Scotland (QIS) has recommended that identification of high-risk individuals is needed. In this study, probable CVD risk in patients within the 40-70 years age range who were not on the CHD, Diabetes and Stroke registers and who were not already receiving statins was analysed using a predictive software toolkit which utilised the ASSIGN risk calculator. This programme effectively identified a patient population with a probable high 10-year CVD risk requiring intervention for CVD prevention after clinical assessment.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
"It is astonishing with how little reading a doctor can practise medicine, but it is not astonishing how badly he may do it.-(William Osler, Aequanimitas, Books and Men)
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
The European Primary Care Cardiovascular Society (EPCCS) exists to inform, support and interact with general practitioners (GPs) across Europe in relation to cardiovascular disease, including stroke and diabetes. The EPCCS provides an interactive and expanding website at www.epccs.eu with news, comments, information, meeting reports and slide presentations.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Epidemiological and clinical research has determined that lipids contribute substantially to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and that modifying the lipid profile has a significant impact on coronary events. These findings are reflected in continuously updated CVD management guidelines, which focus on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) as the primary therapeutic target. The guidelines have further defined LDL-C levels to which patients should be treated. An individual's eligibility for treatment, and their LDL-C treatment goal and intensity of therapy is determined by their absolute CVD risk. Lipid abnormalities can be partly modified by lifestyle changes, which are integral to reducing risk for all patients. However, as lipid goals are progressively lowered, many patients will not be able to achieve them using lifestyle changes alone and these patients usually require treatment with lipid-modifying drugs. This article aims to provide practitioners with a concise guide to managing lipids with pharmacotherapy, based on recommendations from six of the most up-to-date clinical practice guidelines for prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of premature morbidity and mortality in the UK.1 Primary prevention not only is cost-effective but is endorsed as a priority by healthcare systems in the UK, and indeed globally. We describe here a targeted prevention service, which showed that the modifiable risk factors of obesity and overweight, smoking and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were highly prevalent in first-degree relatives of patients with premature coronary heart disease.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 27 January 2011
We live in exciting times with the development of several new oral anticoagulant agents, including the recent approval of the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Dabigatran, an oral agent with fixed dosing, is an attractive alternative to warfarin which has recently been made available in the UK. What are the implications for UK primary care? Many patients with AF receive substandard anticoagulation and are therefore at risk of stroke. Evidence for its efficacy and its potential place in clinical practice is reviewed.
Category: Editorial

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