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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 3 December 2007

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PATIENTS in Liverpool who remain at high risk of cardiovascular disease because of high cholesterol levels may have greater access to the latest cholesterol lowering treatment as a result of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidance published.

The new Guidance recommends ezetimibe for use in combination with a statin in patients whose cholesterol levels remain above national targets, even with a low cholesterol diet and after taking initial statin therapy which has been titrated (increased in dose) appropriately, and where consideration is being given to changing from initial statin therapy to an alternative statin.

Local cholesterol facts for Liverpool

Over 55% of people in Liverpool were recently found to have a cholesterol level above the optimal government target, with those who worked in defense and the armed forces having the highest cholesterol levels (average 5.57mmol/l) compared to recruitment workers who had the healthiest levels (4.45mmol/l). National guidelines for adults recommend a total cholesterol target of less than 5mmol/l (millimoles per litre) and a ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL-C) target of less than 3mmol/l.

The Spearhead Group of Local Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts has also identified Cheshire and Merseyside as areas with some of the worst health and deprivation indicators, including deaths due to cardiovascular disease, in the country. Data from the Department of Health also reveals that prevalence of stroke rose in Cheshire and Merseyside between 2004 and 2006 (approximately 1.75% to 1.8%) and is higher than the national average in 2006 of 1.6%.

Michael Livingston, Director of the patient charity H.E.A.R.T. UK – The Cholesterol Charity, commented:- “Over 1/3rd of the 2.6 million people in the UK with coronary heart disease are not reaching government cholesterol targets (5mmol/l) and are at significant risk of heart attack and stroke. We are therefore delighted by the publication of the NICE guidance on ezetimibe. This alternative approach to managing high cholesterol could benefit thousands of people.”

Reaching recommended cholesterol levels

The NICE Guidance Committee considered clinical evidence which showed that adding ezetimibe to statin therapy reduced LDL cholesterol by 23.2% more than statin therapy alone.  Doubling the dose of statin therapy or switching to an alternative statin generally leads to a further reduction in baseline LDL-cholesterol concentrations of approximately 6% and 8% respectively.

According to NICE, now that this Guidance has been formally published, the NHS is required by the Secretary of State to provide funding and resources for medicines and treatments recommended through this appraisal process normally within 3 months.

Working with statin therapy

Ezetimibe is a cholesterol absorption inhibitor that blocks the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine, so combining it with a statin, the conventional treatment which reduces cholesterol production in the liver, can lead to extra reductions in cholesterol compared to use of a statin alone.

Statin intolerance is also defined in the NICE Guidance as the presence of clinically significant adverse effects from statin therapy that are considered to represent an unacceptable risk to the patient or that may result in compliance with therapy being compromised. The NICE Guidance states that therapy with ezetimibe co-administered with a statin was found to have a similar adverse event profile to that of statin therapy alone.


NEW City Vision, a fast-growing property developer and owner of the Ellergreen development of modern, affordable housing has launched a new Community Bursary with the aim of bolstering local community development initiatives and charitable projects in the Liverpool area. Community spirit is integral to the Ellergreen Development on Utting Avenue East and the bursary will give groups and individuals the chance to apply for a £1,000 grant which can be ploughed back into supporting local initiatives in 2008.

The bursary is applicable to any non-profitable group or individual in the Liverpool area working for the better of the community; from local football teams, to youth groups and voluntary services. New City Vision are calling on applicants to apply for a sum of the bursary, which can be used for much needed equipment, additional staff support or organised group days out.

The Ellergreen development is well on its way to strengthening communities in Liverpool. Building 657 houses in total over a five year period, New City Vision has already breathed new life into the area and has answered a clear need for modern, environmentally sustainable and highly attractive homes in an idea location. The exciting development of 2, 3 and 4 bed mews, semi and detached houses are all within just 5 miles of the city’s vibrant centre and represent everything homeowners expect from a modern estate and more.

New City Vision’s Regional Managing Director, Don Craven, explains:- “People are at the very heart of Ellergreen from parents looking for a comfortable, stylish home in a family-friendly area, to younger couples looking to get a first foot on the property ladder – community spirit is incredibly important to us.  There are so many worthy projects and enterprises in our local community but all too often funds are a real stumbling block. We hope the New City Vision Ellergreen Community Bursary will give a real boost to local groups and help positive ideas to flourish. So whether you’re a local football team needing a new kit, an after school club desperate for new toys or a group of volunteers wanting to renovate a community centre – we’d love to hear from you!”

New City Vision’s community ethos extends beyond the bursary – Ellergreen’s modern homes blend contemporary living with a real focus on reducing energy consumption and conserving natural resources. All homes are energy efficient and allow for excellent Public Transport links to the city and beyond with a first class bus service right on the doorstep.  To keep pedestrians and children safe at all times, Ellergreen will operate a ‘Home Zone’ - a 20mph speed limit restriction for all vehicles entering and driving through the estate. A new infrastructure will also be created for the estate, which will include brand new road layouts and unique road names – all adding to the sense of community.

Don Craven adds:- “Everyone at Ellergreen is very excited about the prospect of being able to support some really worthwhile local causes. Creating a sense of community is about more than bricks and mortar and we recognise the vital role which hundreds of small, local projects play in making our development feel like ‘home’. I’m really looking forward to receiving the first batch of bursary applications and would urge local people to get in touch and tell us why the money would make a big difference to their project. Hopefully we can help lay the foundations for some really exciting ideas! “

Anyone wishing to apply on behalf of a local charity or community group for a share of the community bursary should email  or send a letter to Melissa McNally, DADA, Argyll Chambers, 30 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, G1 3LB. The letter should outline the amount requested, details of the group and what the money will be used for. Closing date for applications is 8th January 2008. Please note that the Ellergreen Community Bursary is subject to terms and conditions. For further information regarding Ellergreen or to take a virtual tour please visit:-  or telephone 0151 256 0900.

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