Survey of physicians' practices in the control of cardiovascular risk factors: The EURIKA study
ABSTRACT To assess the practices of physicians in 12 European countries in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
In 2009, 806 physicians from 12 European countries answered a questionnaire, delivered electronically or by post, regarding their assessment of patients with cardiovascular risk factors, and their use of risk calculation tools and clinical practice guidelines (ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT00882336). Approximately 60 physicians per country were selected (participation rate varied between 3.1% in Sweden and 22.8% in Turkey).
Among participating physicians, 85.2% reported using at least one clinical guideline for CVD prevention. The most popular were the ESC guidelines (55.1%). Reasons for not using guidelines included: the wide choice available (47.1%), time constraints (33.3%), lack of awareness of guidelines (27.5%), and perception that guidelines are unrealistic (23.5%). Among all physicians, 68.5% reported using global risk calculation tools. Written charts were the preferred method (69.4%) and the most commonly used was the SCORE equation (35.4%). Reasons for not using equations included time constraints (59.8%), not being convinced of their usefulness (21.7%) and lack of awareness (19.7%). Most physicians (70.8%) believed that global risk-equations have limitations; 89.8% that equations overlook important risk factors, and 66.5% that they could not be used in elderly patients. Only 46.4% of physicians stated that their local healthcare framework was sufficient for primary prevention of CVD, while 67.2% stated that it was sufficient for secondary prevention of CVD.
A high proportion of physicians reported using clinical guidelines for primary CVD prevention. However, time constraints, lack of perceived usefulness and inadequate knowledge were common reasons for not using CVD prevention guidelines or global CVD risk assessment tools.
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ABSTRACT: Observational clinical studies have demonstrated that only 30–40 % of patients with arterial hypertension achieve the recommended blood pressure goals (below 140/90 mmHg). In contrast, interventional trials consistently showed that it is possible to achieve effective blood pressure targets in about 70 % of treated hypertensive patients with different cardiovascular risk profiles, especially through the use of rational, effective and well tolerated combination therapies. In order to bridge the gap between current and desired blood pressure control and to achieve more effective prevention of cardiovascular diseases, the Italian Society of Hypertension (SIIA) has developed an interventional strategy aimed at reaching nearly 70 % of treated controlled hypertensive patients by 2015. This ambitious goal can be realistically achieved by a more rational use of modern tools and supports, and also through the use of combination therapy in hypertension in daily clinical practice, especially if this approach can be simplified into a single pill (fixed combination therapy), which is a therapeutic option now also available in Italy. Since about 70–80 % of treated hypertensive patients require a combination therapy based on at least two classes of drugs in order to achieve the recommended blood pressure goals, it is of key importance to implement this strategy in routine clinical practice. Amongst the various combination therapies currently available for hypertension treatment and control, the use of those strategies based on drugs that antagonize the renin-angiotensin system, such as angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonists (angiotensin receptor blockers) and ACE inhibitors, in combination with diuretics and/or calcium channel blockers, has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events and to improve patient compliance to treatment, resulting in a greater antihypertensive efficacy and better tolerability compared with monotherapy. The present document of the Italian Society of Arterial Hypertension (SIIA) aims to gather the main indications for the implementation of combination therapy in the treatment of hypertension, in order to improve blood pressure control in Italy.High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention 03/2013; 20(1). DOI:10.1007/s40292-013-0007-2
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ABSTRACT: Despite the availability of risk engines to determine cardiovascular risk, risk factor control is suboptimal. Using EURIKA data we compared risk factor control in Germany with that of 11 other European countries (rest of Europe [ROE]) to identify differences and opportunities for improvement. EURIKA was a multinational, cross-sectional study in 12 European countries including Germany from May 2009 to January 2010. Physicians' attitudes to risk factor control based on the 2007 European guidelines on cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention in a representative cohort of 7641 primary care outpatients aged ≥ 50 years with no CV disease and at least one major CV risk factor were determined. Compared to the ROE, German physicians were more frequently male (72.7% vs 62.6%), had a higher mean age (51.7 ± 8.4 vs 47.0 ± 9.7 years), faced higher patient loads (37.9% vs 16.5% had >199 patients/week), and involved other health sector professionals (dieticians, psychologists) less (31.8% vs 41.0% in the ROE). The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines on CVD prevention were more important for German physicians (60.6% vs 55.9%), while those who didn't use them gave reasons for nonuse as too many (62.5% vs 46.2%), too confusing, unrealistic, or not applicable to their patients. Risk engines were used less (54.5% vs 70.7%), with perceived lack of time (65.5% vs 60.2%) a frequent reason for nonuse. Risk factor control in German patients was inadequate (control rates: hypertension 36.3%, dyslipidemia 30.4%, type 2 diabetes 40.6%, obesity 28.8%) but largely comparable to other ROE countries; however, physicians tended to overestimate control rates. EURIKA provides comprehensive data on the status of primary prevention of CVD in clinical practice in Germany and reveals considerable potential for improving the primary prevention of CVD.Vascular Health and Risk Management 03/2012; 8:177-86. DOI:10.2147/VHRM.S29915