The NHS Long Term Plan includes a major ambition to prevent 150,000 strokes, heart attacks and vascular dementia cases over the next 10 years.
Improving the detection and treatment of the high-risk conditions atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol has the potential to unlock considerable health gains.
These common conditions can cause cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and strokes, and many cases of dementia. Although treatment of these conditions is very effective at preventing cardiovascular events, late diagnosis and under treatment is common.
Achieving the ambitions requires a whole system effort. In the past, primary care has been thought of as responsible for identifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Although it does have a vital role to play, primary care is overstretched and there are many other ways of finding the people most at risk so that they can get the help they need.