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More than half of heart patients continue smoking after hospitalisation

Nearly half of obese patients have no plans for weight loss

Rehabilitation and Sports Cardiology
Risk Factors and Prevention

Ljubljana, Slovenia – 20 April 2018: More than half of heart patients continue smoking after hospitalisation, according to results of the EUROASPIRE V survey presented today at EuroPrevent 2018, a European Society of Cardiology congress.1 Nearly half of obese patients have no plans for weight loss.


EUROASPIRE is a series of cross sectional surveys on cardiovascular prevention in Europe that are conducted under the ESC’s EORP initiative.2 EUROASPIRE V examined cardiovascular risk factors in 8,261 patients with established coronary heart disease from 27 countries during June 2016 to September 2018. Patients were interviewed and clinically examined six months to two years (median 1.12 years) after hospitalisation for an acute coronary event or coronary revascularisation.


Nearly one in four patients (26%) in the study were women, the average age of all study participants was 64 years, and one-third were under 60 years old.


One year after their heart attack, more than half (55%) of the patients who were smokers before hospitalisation were still smoking (almost one-fifth of all study participants).


Professor Kornelia Kotseva, chair of the EUROASPIRE Steering Committee from Imperial College London, UK, said: “Smoking is still a major problem in patients who have been hospitalised for heart disease, especially in younger patients.”


Some 38% of patients were obese (body mass index 30kg/m2 or higher), with levels ranging from 16% in Serbia to 47% in Lithuania. Of those who were obese, 45% had no plans for weight loss and 25% had never been told they had a weight problem. More than half of patients (59%) were centrally obese (waist circumference 88 cm or greater in women and 102 cm or greater in men).


The prevalence of high blood pressure (140/90 mmHg or above, and 140/80 mmHg or above in patients with diabetes) was 46% (range 31–57%), while 12% of patients had blood pressure 160/100 mmHg or above. Antihypertensive drugs were used in 78% of patients (range 49–83%), of whom 49% had controlled blood pressure (less than 140/90 mmHg, and less than 140/80 mmHg in patients with diabetes).


The prevalence of elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (1.8 mmol/L or higher) was 71%. A total of 84% of patients were taking lipid-lowering drugs (almost exclusively statins). Of these, only 32% of patients reached an LDL cholesterol target of less than 1.8 mmol/L (70 mg/dL). Most patients (93%) were on antiplatelet medication, 81% were on beta-blockers and 75% were on angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers.


Some 29% of patients reported that they had diabetes, but only 54% of these patients had HbA1c less than 7%, meaning their diabetes was well controlled. In addition to those with known diabetes, an oral glucose tolerance test revealed that 12% of patients had newly detected diabetes, 18% had impaired glucose tolerance, and 10% had impaired fasting glycaemia.


Less than half (46%) of patients had been advised to attend cardiac rehabilitation programmes (range 0–84%), and only 32% attended at least half of the sessions. Professor Kotseva said: “Some countries do not have any programmes on secondary prevention and rehabilitation while in others they are standard practice. Most patients follow advice to attend such programmes so the challenge is to achieve wider availability and access for all patients across Europe.”


Professor David A. Wood, Principal Investigator of EUROASPIRE from Imperial College London, said multidisciplinary, comprehensive prevention programmes were needed for all patients with coronary heart disease. He said: “We need multidisciplinary teams to address lifestyle, risk factor management and the effective use of cardioprotective drug therapies.”




Notes to editor

Authors: ESC Press Office

Tel: +33 (0)4 89 87 24 83

Mob: +33 (0)6 24 71 28 96



Notes to editor


SOURCES OF FUNDING: The EUROASPIRE V survey was carried out under the auspices of the European Society of Cardiology, EURObservational Research Programme. The survey was supported through unrestricted research grants to the European Society of Cardiology from Amgen, Elli Lilly, Ferrer, NovoNordisk, Pfizer and Sanofi. The sponsors of the EUROASPIRE surveys had no role in the design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, decision to publish, or writing the manuscript.


DISCLOSURES: Professor Kotseva had research grant support from the European Society of Cardiology for the EUROASPIRE V survey.


References and notes

1 What is new in the management of people with CHD? EUROASPIRE V survey on cardiovascular disease prevention and diabetes.

2About EORP: EURObservational Research Programme (EORP) is the large ESC registry programme. EORP aims at providing a better understanding of medical practice in Europe through the collection of observational data and at evaluating the implementation of ESC guidelines.


About EuroPrevent

EuroPrevent is the annual congress of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC), a registered branch of the ESC, where leading experts get together in an international forum to present their research and share knowledge.


About the European Association of Preventive Cardiology

The European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC) is a registered branch of the ESC. Its mission is to promote excellence in research, practice, education and policy in cardiovascular health, primary and secondary prevention.

About the European Society of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.


Information for journalists attending EuroPrevent 2018

EuroPrevent 2018 will be held from 19 to 21 April at Cankarjev dom, Culture and Congress Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Read the full scientific programme.

  • To register on-site please bring a valid press card or appropriate letter of assignment with proof of three recent published articles (cardiology or health-related, or referring to a previous ESC Event).
  • Press registration is not available to industry or its public relations representatives, event management, marketing or communications representatives.