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Increased numbers of patients at risk of CVD

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Hypertension had the highest number of registered patients (7.7 million) according to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) annual report.

Hypertension was most prevalent in England at 13.7 per cent. Cardiovascular disease saw an increase of 25.7 per cent since last year.

The report states that there are a number of reasons why this could have been including an increased number of patients registered and changes to the QOF indicators.

'The figures show an increase in the number of people identified by their GP as being at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, rather than an increase in the prevalence of CVD itself, said Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac disease specialist nurse at the British Heart Foundation. 'Patients with high blood pressure but who are yet to develop CVD are now being counted in a new prevention register as part of the QOF results. It's crucial that we know who is at an increased risk so that individuals can work with their GP to make the necessary changes to their lifestyle earlier and to try and prevent. . . this devastating disease.'

The exception rate (where a patient refuses treatment or cancels appointments) for cardiovascular disease decreased to 4.3 per cent in 2013-14 from 6.2 per cent in 2012-13.

Obesity and depression had the second and third highest prevalence rates respectively at 9.4 per cent and 6.5 per cent.

The most exceptions were seen in mental health and neurology: 14.4 per cent.

The QOF figures from April 2013 to March 2014 cover 7921 general practices in England. Some areas such as Somerset have developed local schemes to replace the QOF and were exempt from providing data.

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