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

Editorial

Tuesday, 14 July 2015
Managing stroke risk in people with atrial fibrillation (AF) is critical. The introduction of the CHA2DS2VASc score has lowered the threshold for consideration of anticoagulation to prevent stroke in AF. This means potentially extra work for clinicians in assessing AF patients, and an extra cost to the NHS from more medication and monitoring. This study aims to quantify the increase in the numbers of people requiring anticoagulation with the newer risk assessment score. Method: The GRASP-AF tool was used to quantify the number of people categorised as high risk, using the CHA2DS2VASc score compared with the standard CHADS2 score. Population: An inner-city population from nine general practices within a single Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), covering a population of 42,274 patients. Results: A total of 395 patients were found to have AF. In this study, 64% were categorised as high risk using CHADS2 compared with 87% on CHA2DS2VASc. This represents an increase of 35% in the numbers of people classed at high risk of stroke and needing to be considered for anticoagulation. Conclusion: There are significant extra costs to implementing the CHA2DS2VASc score, both in drug costs and extra work for primary care, which need to be managed within the local health system. The greatest benefit will be at an individual level. Some people who would have had a stroke will be spared that experience. Who those individuals are, we will never know.
Category: Editorial
Tuesday, 05 May 2015
A meeting report from the British Society for Heart Failure (BSH) 17th Annual Autumn Meeting, held in London on 27-28 November 2014.
Category: Editorial
Thursday, 19 March 2015
Since the publication in 2008 of the first NICE guideline on the diagnosis and management of chronic kidney disease (CKD), there has been concern that creatinine-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) may not accurately identify people at increased risk–particularly in elderly populations. The updated NICE guideline, issued in July 2014, includes some important changes that take into account recent research into the prognosis of CKD.  Of particular relevance for GPs are changes to the diagnostic criteria and classification of CKD, which are described in this article.
Category: Editorial
Saturday, 28 February 2015
Acommonly heard clinical expression is “He/she is very frail”. It provides a summary statement of an older person that implies concerns over vulnerability and prognosis. This is how we have conventionally considered frailty—as a descriptive label: ‘the frail elderly’. In this article, we will re-frame frailty in a potentially more helpful way. We will examine frailty from the perspective of an abnormal health state that behaves just like a long-term condition. This conceptualisation of frailty opens up new approaches to helping people who are frail.
Category: Editorial
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
The first section of this supplement made the case to consider frailty from the perspective of a long-term condition. This and the next section explore what this means in terms of applying some of the well-developed models for the care of longterm conditions to people who are living with frailty. First, we examine how the highly evidence-based model of supported self-management might be applied to frailty.
Category: Editorial
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Supported self-management is feasible and desirable for people with mild frailty, but care and support planning is more appropriate for individuals with moderate frailty. This section considers how the primary healthcare team can apply a whole person and personalised approach to care and support planning.
Category: Editorial
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Most nurses are involved in the care of the 1% of the population currently nearing the end of their lives: that is, people considered to be in their final year, months, weeks or days of life. The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) programmes can help provide a structured framework in this challenging area, leading to more proactive and consistent standards of care, and enabling more people to live well and die well where they choose.
Category: Editorial
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Frailty is a distinctive health state related to the ageing process in which multiple body systems gradually lose their in-built reserves. This means the person is vulnerable to dramatic, sudden changes in health triggered by seemingly small events such as a minor infection or a change in medication.
Category: Editorial
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