Addressing the Persistent Challenges of Dementia and Heart Disease in England

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England (Parliament Politic Magazine) – Newly released data from the government reveals a concerning rise in the number of deaths last month, surpassing the average. Surprisingly, dementia emerged as the leading cause of death in England, while heart disease claimed the top spot in Wales. However, there is a glimmer of hope as COVID-related deaths have significantly decreased.

 It is  prompting a prominent testing expert to advocate for routine screening for dementia and heart conditions. In a groundbreaking development, scientists have officially declared the disappearance of COVID from England’s top ten list of killers as “statistically significant.” The spotlight is now on treating dementia and heart disease, which is prevalent in England.

From Awareness to Action: Combating Dementia and Heart Disease in England

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) demonstrate an alarming situation. COVID accounted for a mere 1.5% of all deaths in England and Wales during the week ending on June 16th. Furthermore, it plummeted from being the eighth leading cause of death in England in April to the thirteenth in May. Astonishingly, COVID claimed the lives of 785 individuals in England last month.

However, despite the success in combating Covid-19, it is important to acknowledge the alarming increase in deaths in England and Wales. The primary culprits behind these fatalities are dementia/Alzheimer’s in England and heart disease in Wales. Dr. Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), a renowned expert in testing and the Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, emphasizes something important.

He believes they may have achieved victory against Covid-19, but the United Kingdom is still far from winning the overall health war. In England, dementia/Alzheimer’s has remained the leading cause of death for the 23rd consecutive month as of May. Last month, a total of 4,872 lives were claimed, resulting in a mortality rate of 97.9 deaths per 100,000 people.

In Wales, ischaemic heart disease, also known as coronary heart disease, remained the primary cause of death for the second consecutive month. Shockingly, 319 individuals lost their lives to this condition in May alone, equating to a mortality rate of 106.8 deaths per 100,000 people.

Understanding the Impact of Dementia and Heart Disease in England

It is disheartening to observe such a significant loss of life within a single month. Ischaemic heart disease, a condition that is generally treatable, continues to exert its devastating impact on the population of Wales. Dementia has been the leading cause of death in England for the past two years. Surprisingly, there has been no significant increase in testing for this condition.

Similarly, there has been no comparable effort to address the potentially devastating consequences of heart disease. This is particularly perplexing considering that heart disease can be effectively managed if detected early on. Although coronary heart disease cannot be reversed, it can certainly be effectively managed.

By detecting it early on, individuals can make necessary lifestyle changes, take medication, and, if required, undergo surgery to significantly decrease the likelihood of experiencing heart attacks or other related issues.

Likewise, the Alzheimer’s Society emphasizes the importance of timely diagnosis in enabling individuals to make crucial decisions regarding treatment, support, and care. Early detection allows those with this disease to live their lives to the fullest and effectively manage symptoms. It is not surprising that a recent survey conducted by the Alzheimer’s Society revealed something alarming. Three out of five individuals with dementia wished they had received a diagnosis sooner.

Read More: Financial Strain and Fading Health: Unraveling the Impact of Living Costs on British Children’s Health

The Dual Burden of Dementia and Heart Disease in England

The United Kingdom urgently requires a comprehensive program of universal screening for heart disease. It must start at the age of 50, and for dementia/Alzheimer’s, commencing at the age of 65. Routine testing for ischaemic/coronary heart disease is imperative. A straightforward assessment of blood pressure and cholesterol levels can effectively identify the potential presence of heart disease.

This initial screening will then facilitate further diagnostic tests and, if necessary, appropriate treatments. Similarly, screening for dementia/Alzheimer’s is a relatively straightforward process. A general practitioner or other healthcare professional will conduct a thorough evaluation of the patient’s personal and medical history.

Additionally, they will engage in discussions with individuals who possess a deep understanding of the patient’s condition, should symptoms be evident. Moreover, medical professionals will probably conduct a comprehensive physical examination and administer a cognitive assessment. Undoubtedly, the importance of such testing cannot be emphasized enough.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.