Clinical update

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term for all diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

Essential facts

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term for all diseases of the heart and blood vessels. It includes coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, stroke and transient ischaemic attack. CVD is the leading cause of death in England and Wales, accounting for almost one third of all deaths.

Picture credit: SPL

In September, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published new quality standards recommending that adults whose ten-year risk of CVD is 10% or higher should be given advice on lifestyle changes before being offered statin therapy. Stopping smoking, increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet may reduce a person’s CVD risk without the need for drug treatment, says NICE.

Last year, NICE recommended wider use of statins to lower the risk of CVD, reducing the threshold for ten-year risk from 20% to 10%. This guidance also recommends discussing

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