Its a worrying finding for patients.
A significant percentage of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) still aren’t being prescribed the recommended secondary prevention drugs that could save their lives, a new analysis confirmed.
About a third of CAD patients enrolled in a national registry were not taking a combination of beta-blockers, statins, and ACE inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ACEI/ARBs) after having a heart attack or undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (Angioplasty/ PCI) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG/ bypass surgery).
And compliance with the secondary prevention drug recommendations varied greatly from practice to practice, researcher Thomas M. Maddox, MD, of the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver, and colleagues, wrote online Oct. 30 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The researchers examined data from the American College of Cardiology’s PINNACLE Registry, which is the first national, prospective, outpatient-based cardiac quality improvement registry of patients being treated in cardiology practices in the U.S.
Patients treated at 58 PINNACLE practices between July of 2008 and December of 2010 were included in the analysis.
Among 156,145 coronary artery disease (CAD) patients treated at 58 participating practices, 66.5% were taking beta-blockers, statins, and ACE inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers on their first post-event visit, and only slightly more (69.7%) had been prescribed these recommended medications a year later.
This is worrying that one-third of the patients are not getting the necessary drugs to prolong survival. This is despite the fact that most of the doctors have now access to latest medical information and guidelines due to availability of smart phones and internet access. If this is the situation in the western world, it would be worse in the developing countries.
In an editorial published with the analysis, L. Kristin Newby, MD, of Duke University, wrote that efforts to increase the use of optimal drugs for secondary prevention should focus not only on cardiologists but also family practice physicians, internists, gynecologists, and advanced practice providers such as nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants.