Preventing cardiovascular disease through primary care

October is National Cholesterol Month, a campaign dedicated to raising awareness of all things cholesterol. High cholesterol is a serious risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which can cause heart attacks, strokes and vascular dementia. It is estimated that 43% of adults in England have cholesterol levels above national guidelines.[1]

CVD is often preventable and in the North of England, 25-44 year olds are 47% more likely to die from heart and circulatory diseases compared to those in the South.[2]

Throughout October, we will be sharing a series of articles providing practical tips from experts across the region, to support the primary care workforce in the prevention and management of CVD.

In this article, Dr Tim Butler shares valuable insight into how primary care staff can work together, to improve patient outcomes for people at risk of CVD and minimise the health inequalities it causes.

Dr Tim Butler, GP, Assistant Medical Director, SRO Diabetes and CVD Prevention, NHS England – North East & Yorkshire said:

“CVD is the leading cause of health inequalities, with people living in our most deprived communities twice as likely to die young as a result of CVD.

It is largely preventable, which is why the NHS Long Term Plan has identified CVD as the single biggest area where the NHS can save lives over the next 10 years. Health inequalities are growing now with the poorest in our community faring badly.

The time is now to work together to identify people whose lives will be improved by better care and treatments, preventing many heart attacks and strokes.

To support this drive in our region, I encourage all primary care staff to make use of the data, using practice search tools and the national CVDPrevent toolkit, to identify those who would benefit. This is easily doable and will make huge differences to many.

We need to address both blood pressure and cholesterol in many and with new therapies, particularly for cholesterol this is now achievable.

Finally, I’d like to say thank you to all the staff in our NHS who manage and support our drive to reduce heart attacks and strokes. We do some of the best work in the country here in our region and the opportunity is now to do even better.”


Access CDRC here:  Clinical Digital Resource Collaborative (

Access the CVD Prevent Tool here : Home | CVDPREVENT

To find out more about the Lipid Management Pathway, visit: Lipid Management Pathway – AHSN NENC (

To access resources for primary care, visit: Resources for Primary Care – AHSN NENC (


[1] British Heart Foundation [Accessed October 2023]

[2] British Heart Foundation [Accessed October 2023]