Vol 22, No 2 (2015)
Original articles
Published online: 2015-04-28

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Secondary prevention of coronary artery disease in contemporary clinical practice

Piotr Jankowski, Danuta Czarnecka, Renata Wolfshaut-Wolak, Radosław Łysek, Anna Łukaszewska, Piotr Bogacki, Janusz Grodecki, Ewa Mirek-Bryniarska, Jadwiga Nessler, Piotr Podolec, Kalina Kawecka-Jaszcz, Andrzej Pająk
DOI: 10.5603/CJ.a2014.0066
Pubmed: 25299500
Cardiol J 2015;22(2):219-226.


Background: The highest priority in preventive cardiology was given to patients with estab­lished coronary artery disease (CAD). The aim of the study was to assess the implementation of guidelines for secondary prevention in everyday clinical practice by evaluating control of the main risk factors and the cardioprotective medication prescription rates for patients, following their hospitalization for CAD.

Methods: Five hospitals with cardiology departments serving the city and its surround­ing districts in southern part of Poland participated in the study. Consecutive patients aged ≤ 80 years, hospitalized from January 1 2010 to April 31 2012 due to an acute coronary syndrome or for a myocardial revascularization procedure were recruited and interviewed 6–18 months after hospitalization.

Results: The medical records of 595 patients (mean age: 62.8 ± 9.0 years, 397 men and 198 women) were reviewed and included in the analyses. Proportions of medical records with available information on risk factors were high with the exception of total cholesterol levels as well as weight and height measurements, which were available in less than 80% of the hospital records. The prescription rate at discharge for antiplatelets was 99%, beta-blockers (BB) — 85%, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) or sartans — 85%, and lipid-lowering drugs — 94%. Patients scheduled for coronary artery bypass grafting were significantly less often prescribed BB, ACEI or sartans, and lipid-lowering drugs. The proportion of patients with high blood pressure (≥ 140/90 mm Hg) 6–18 months after hospitalization was 47%, with high LDL cholesterol level (≥ 1.8 mmol/L) 73%, and with a high HbA1c level (≥ 7.0%) 14%, whereas 20% of participants were smokers and 80% were overweight. The proportion of patients taking an antiplatelet agent 6–18 months after hospitalization was 90%, BB — 82%, ACEI — or sartan 78%, and lipid-lowering drug — 82%. Overall, 33.9% of the study participants declared that they had been advised to participate in a rehabilitation/secondary prevention program following their hospitalization and 30.5% participated in a rehabilitation/secondary prevention program. However, only 28.2% took part in at least half of the planned sessions. Using a multivariate analysis we showed that, in general, risk factors control and the prescription rates of cardioprotective medications were related to the patients’ age, education, and participation in a rehabilitation/secondary prevention program following their hospitalization due to CAD.

Conclusions: Our data provide evidence that there is a considerable potential for further reduction of cardiovascular risk in CAD patients. Our results suggest that increasing patient participation rates in rehabilitation/secondary prevention programs may improve the imple­mentation of the secondary prevention.