Horizon Scan 

Dementia Care
May 18, 2021

New findings in the medical understanding of high blood pressure (Irish Medical Times, 12/5/2021)

Past studies suggested that the risk of a heart attack begins to increase when a diastolic (lower) blood pressure reading is below 70 or above 90.

In an Irish-led, international study, Professor Bill McEvoy, Professor of Preventive Cardiology at NUI Galway and Consultant Cardiologist at UHG has found no evidence that that levels previously thought to be too low could be harmful to patients.

Prof. McEvoy’s team analysed genetic and survival data from more than 47,000 patients worldwide. Prof. McEvoy explains: “Because doctors often focus on keeping the bottom blood pressure reading in the 70-90 range, they may have been under treating some adults with persistently high systolic blood pressure. The findings of this study free up doctors to treat the systolic value when it is elevated and to not worry about the diastolic blood pressure falling too low.”

Dr Joe Gallagher, Irish College of General Practioners’ Lead, National Heart Programme commented: “This data.…. will help impact clinical practice internationally and shows the importance of Irish researchers in clinical research.”

COVID rising in the capital

The Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, has warned that coronavirus cases in Dublin could double within a fortnight, if people do not act immediately.

Over the last two weeks, there have been 1,055 cases in Dublin and there is now an average of 104 new cases among Dubliners every day.

Dr Glynn urged people to “act as though you have the disease” and that keeping an extra distance from others can make a big difference in curtailing the spread of COVID-19.

Vaccination Programme

For the first time, more than 250,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in a seven-day period in the Republic of Ireland.

Due to time lost caused by supply difficulty and controversy, the roll-out is now about 10 to 12 days behind where it needs to be. Based on the data update on Wednesday 11th May, 37% of adults have received a first dose, while 14% are fully vaccinated.

Heat & Lighting: protection to end

A moratorium which has been preventing home electricity and gas disconnections will be lifted on 1 June. The moratorium, which has been in place since March 2020, was designed to protect customers during COVID-19 restrictions.

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