The Wessex AHSN lipid management and FH programme will focus on pathway improvement for hyperlipidaemia management.
Why are we doing it?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death in the UK1. 85% of all CVD deaths are due to myocardial infarctions (heart attack) or strokes2
As many as 28% of cardiovascular related deaths are attributed to elevated cholesterol. Despite evidence that interventions that lower LDL-C will significantly reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease and other major vascular events, identification, diagnosis, referral and appropriate management with at risk patients remains varied across England.
FH is an inherited condition which leads to exceptionally high cholesterol levels, often 2 – 4 x those of the general population. There are two types of FH heterozygous (where an individual inherits a faulty gene from only one parent) and homozygous (where the individual inherits a faulty gene from both parents). It is estimated that one in 250 people may have FH in the UK but less than 10% of these people have been diagnosed. This means up to 260,000 people may be living with this condition. With early intervention and careful follow up, the excess coronary heart disease risk and premature mortality associated with FH can be effectively reduced.
What’s happening in Wessex?
Over summer 2020 the team at Wessex have been engaging with local stakeholders to understand current practice and local challenges better. In early 2021 the team will be setting up a programme board to support the local project delivery.
The project will support the local efforts to optimise the detection and management of at-risk patients and support the use of lipid lowering medicines across Wessex.
Through improved detection, pathway improvement and education support, the project endeavours to support improvements in the number of patients identified and treated for FH through genetic diagnosis in primary care.
The work will be supported by local and national data, appropriate tools to identify patients, and ensure risk stratification includes added risk to ethnic minority populations and a proactive approach to support this cohort. We will work closely with a programme board who will help Wessex ASHN establish local priorities and embed pathway linkages between primary and secondary care.
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