Dip in treatment
Almost half a million people might have missed out on starting treatment to lower their blood pressure during the first year of the pandemic, which could lead to thousands more cardiovascular events, according to researchers.
Fewer people started taking medication for high blood pressure during the pandemic
Almost half a million people might have missed out on starting treatment to lower their blood pressure during the pandemic, according to new research.
Between March 2020 and July 2021, almost 500,000 fewer people than expected started taking blood pressure medication. By the first half of 2021, there were still 27,070 fewer people starting blood pressure medication each month compared with 2019, and 16,744 fewer people started statins each month.
This drop could cause more than 13,500 additional cardiovascular events, the researchers, from the University of Liverpool and Imperial College London, write in the journal Nature Medicine. They say their findings highlight the need for the NHS to identify and treat those with high blood pressure.
The aims to prevent 150,000 strokes, heart attacks and cases of dementia over the next ten years through increased testing of three CVD risk factors, hypertension, atrial fibrillation and dyslipidaemia.
Phil Pyatt, CEO of Blood Pressure UK, said: “It’s clear that the pandemic had a huge effect on the amount of people seeing health professionals to get their blood pressure checked. Now the work starts to get checks-up to pre-pandemic levels, and it is good to see that outside of BPUK there are a number of initiatives to boost numbers.”