How general practitioners perceive and grade the cardiovascular risk of their patients.
ABSTRACT Although risk assessment charts have been proposed to identify patients at high cardiovascular risk, in everyday practice general practitioners (GPs) often use their knowledge of the patients to estimate the risk subjectively.
A cross-sectional study aimed to describe how GPs perceive, qualify and grade cardiovascular risk in everyday practice.
General practitioners had to identify in a random sample of 10% of their contacts the first 20 consecutive patients perceived as being at cardiovascular risk. For each patient essential data were collected on clinical history, physical examination and laboratory tests, for the qualification of risk. At the end of the process GPs subjectively estimated the overall patient's level of risk. General practitioners grading was compared with the risk estimate from a reference chart.
Over a mean time of 25 days 3120 patients perceived as being at cardiovascular risk were enrolled. According to the inclusion scheme each GP had contact with more than 200 patients at cardiovascular risk every month. Thirty percent of these patients had atherosclerotic diseases. Up to 72% of patients without any history of atherosclerotic diseases but perceived to be at risk could be classified according to a reference chart as being at moderate to very high risk. Comparing GPs' grading of risk with a chart estimate there was agreement in 42% of the cases. Major determinants of GPs' underestimation of risk were age, sex and smoking habits, while obesity and family history were independently associated with overestimation.
On the basis of their perception GPs properly identify patients at cardiovascular risk in the majority of cases. General practitioners subjective grading of risk level only partially agreed with that given by a chart.
- MRS Online Proceeding Library 01/2003; 797.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: A pilot project cardiovascular prevention was implemented in Sandwell (West Midlands, UK). This used electronic primary care records to identify untreated patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease then invited these high risk patients for assessment by a nurse in their own general practice. Those found to be eligible for treatment were offered treatment. During the pilot a higher proportion of high risk patients were started on treatment in the intervention practices than in control practices. Following the apparent success of the prevention project, it was intended to extend the service to all practices across the Sandwell area. However the pilot project was not a robust evaluation. There was a need for an efficient evaluation that would not disrupt the planned rollout of the project. METHODS: Project nurses will sequentially implement targeted cardiovascular case finding in a phased way across all general practices, with the sequence of general practices determined randomly. This is a stepped wedge randomised controlled trial design. The target population is patients aged 35 to 74, without diabetes or cardiovascular disease whose ten-year cardiovascular risk, (determined from data in their electronic records) is >=20%. The primary outcome is the number of high risk patients started on treatment, because these data could be efficiently obtained from electronic primary care records. From this we can determine the effects of the case finding programme on the proportion of high risk patients started on treatment in practices before and after implementation of targeted case finding. Cost-effectiveness will be modelled from the predicted effects of treatments on cardiovascular events and associated health service costs. Alongside the implementation it is intended to interview clinical staff and patients who participated in the programme in order to determine acceptability to patients and clinicians. Practical considerations meant that 26 practices in Sandwell could be randomised, including about 6,250 patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease. This gives sufficient power for evaluation. DISCUSSION: It is possible to design a stepped wedge randomised controlled trial using routine data to determine the primary outcome to evaluate implementation of a cardiovascular prevention programme.BMC Public Health 10/2012; 12(1):908. · 2.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Trials have shown a beneficial effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with a previous myocardial infarction or heart failure. We evaluated the potential benefit of such therapy in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors or atherosclerotic vascular disease who had not had a myocardial infarction. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, we enrolled a cohort of patients who were followed by a network of 860 general practitioners in Italy. Eligible patients were men and women with multiple cardiovascular risk factors or atherosclerotic vascular disease but not myocardial infarction. Patients were randomly assigned to n-3 fatty acids (1 g daily) or placebo (olive oil). The initially specified primary end point was the cumulative rate of death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and nonfatal stroke. At 1 year, after the event rate was found to be lower than anticipated, the primary end point was revised as time to death from cardiovascular causes or admission to the hospital for cardiovascular causes. Of the 12,513 patients enrolled, 6244 were randomly assigned to n-3 fatty acids and 6269 to placebo. With a median of 5 years of follow-up, the primary end point occurred in 1478 of 12,505 patients included in the analysis (11.8%), of whom 733 of 6239 (11.7%) had received n-3 fatty acids and 745 of 6266 (11.9%) had received placebo (adjusted hazard ratio with n-3 fatty acids, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.88 to 1.08; P=0.58). The same null results were observed for all the secondary end points. In a large general-practice cohort of patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors, daily treatment with n-3 fatty acids did not reduce cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. (Funded by Società Prodotti Antibiotici and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00317707.).New England Journal of Medicine 05/2013; 368(19):1800-8. · 54.42 Impact Factor