Patients who have experienced a cardiovascular clinical event such as a myocardial infarction or stroke qualify for intensive risk factor evaluation and management.
The aim of this study is to explore lifestyle changes as well as the achievement of targets for risk factors in patients with established cardiovascular disease.
Cross-sectional study conducted in primary care practices. The study was carried out in six European countries (Croatia, France, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey). Patients with established cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and stroke) attended in primary care were selected and assessed from January to June 2016. Patients were recruited and assessed at the practice by research assistants between 6 months and 3 years after the event. Statistical comparisons were done with the unpaired two-sided Student’s t-test for continuous variables and Chi-square test for categorical variables.
Nine hundred and seventy-three patients (32.4% females) were assessed. About 14% of them were smokers, 32% were physically inactive, and 30% had nutritionally poor eating behaviours. LDL cholesterol target value below 70 mg/dl was achieved in about 23% of patients, and in general, women were less cardio-protected by drugs than men.
Many patients with established cardiovascular disease who attended in general practice still fail to achieve the lifestyle, risk factor, and therapeutic targets set by European guidelines. These results are relevant to general practitioners because these patients have a high risk of subsequent cardiovascular events, including MI, stroke, and death.