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EUROASPIRE III data reveal lifestyle prevention being missed out

EuroPRevent; Prague, Czech Republic: 5–7 May 2010

Data from the EUROASPIRE III survey reveal that primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention treatment goals are not being met in the majority of patients, despite increased use of preventive cardiovascular medications.

Regading the secondary prevention findings in particular, EUROASPIRE investigator Kornelia Kotseva (Imperial College London, UK, commented: “There is still considerable potential to raise the standard of preventive care in Europe through preventive cardiology programs in order to reduce the risk of recurrent disease.”

Kotseva reported at the EuroPRevent conference in Prague, Czech Republic, that of 8996 patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) who were interviewed, 56.0% had elevated blood pressure (>140/90 mmHg or >130/80 mmHg for patients with diabetes); 51.1% had elevated total cholesterol (>4.5 mmol/l); 36.7% had decresed high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (<1.0 mmol/l in men and <1.2 mmol/l in women); and 34.7% had high serum triglycerides (>1.7 mmol/l).

Only 43.9% of patients on antihypertensive treatment had their blood pressure controlled, while 55.0% of those on lipid-lowering medication achieved the goal total cholesterol level.
Control of diabetes was particularly poor, with only 10.4% of patients with self-reported diabetes having fasting glucose levels <6.1 mmol/l and 34.7% having HbA1c <6/5%.
Aspirin or other antiplatelets were used by 90.5%, beta blockers by 79.8%, ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers by 70.9%, calcium channel blockers by 24.5%, diuretics by 30.2%, and lipid-lowering drugs by 79.8%.

These results clearly showed that “simply prescribing more and more cardioprotective drugs is not sufficient to meet targets,” according to Kotseva.

She added: “Drug treatments must be combined with professional lifestyle intervention. All coronary patients need a professional cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation program which addresses all aspects of lifestyle and the effective control of other risk factors – as well as appropriate use of cardioprotective drug therapies.” Kotseva also reported data from the survey on 4366 individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease, among whom risk factor control was again very poor. Only 26.7% of people on antihypertensive medication were at goal blood pressure levels, and just 30.6% of those on lipid-lowering medication at goal total cholesterol levels, while 39.9% with diabetes did not have their glucose levels controlled.

Kotseva said: “Secondary and primary prevention need a systematic, comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach, which addresses lifestyle and risk factor management by cardiologists, general practitioners, nurses, and other health professionals.”

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MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a part of Springer Science+Business Media. © Current Medicine Group Ltd; 2010