Europe Missing Out on Heart Disease Prevention

-- Jane Parry

Friday, March 13, 2009

FRIDAY, Mar. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patient surveys conducted in three time periods between 1995 and 2007 show that European countries are missing the opportunity to reduce cardiovascular disease through preventive efforts, according to an article published in the Mar. 14 issue of The Lancet.

Kornelia Kotseva, M.D., of Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed data from three European Action on Secondary and Primary Prevention by Intervention to Reduce Events (EUROASPIRE) surveys of 3,180 coronary artery bypass graft or percutaneous coronary intervention patients in 1995 to 1996, 2,975 patients in 1999 to 2000, and 2,392 patients in 2006 to 2007.

Smoking prevalence was similar across all three studies at 20.3 percent, 21.2 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively, and the proportion of patients with raised blood pressure was 58.1 percent, 58.3 percent and 60.9 percent, respectively, the investigators found. However, frequency of obesity increased from 25 percent in the first study to 32.6 percent in the second and 38 percent in the third, and the frequency of self-reported diabetes rose from 17.4 percent, to 20.1 percent and 28 percent, respectively, the researchers report.

"All patients with coronary heart disease would benefit from access to comprehensive cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation programs," the authors write. "To salvage the acutely ischemic myocardium without addressing the underlying lifestyle causes of the disease is futile; we need to invest in prevention."

The EUROASPIRE studies were variously funded by grants from Merck Sharp & Dohme, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, sanofi-aventis, Servier, Merck/Schering-Plough and Novartis. Three study authors report financial ties to some of these companies.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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