MORE than 60 GP practices across the district are taking part in a pioneering project combating the risk of stroke.
NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group – together with Bradford's two CCGs – is involved in the initiative.
Together they are targeting hundreds more people who suffer from atrial fibrillation (AF), a condition which triggers abnormalities in heart rhythm and dramatically increases stroke risk.
Of the 6,000-plus AF patients in the area covered by the three CCGs, many more are now being prescribed anticoagulant drugs such as Warfarin as a precautionary measure.
Health bosses predict that ultimately the scheme will result in 200 fewer strokes every year in the Bradford district – and as many as 10,000 less across the UK if the project is rolled out nationally.
Dr Matt Fay, a cardiology specialist and the project leader, said: “This initiative has resulted in a dramatic positive effect on the health of patients.
"All strokes are devastating, but AF strokes are bigger and potentially lethal.
“The good news is we now know that when prescribed anticoagulant drugs, these strokes can be avoided. However too many patients are still being given aspirin, when they could be given anticoagulants."
He added: "It’s important that we continue to check patients for irregular heartbeat. That way, if AF is diagnosed, we can ensure they receive the right treatment and medication.”
Abnormalities in heart rhythm can affect four in every 100 people over the age of 65 in the UK.
For more information, visit heartrhythmcharity.org.uk