Lifestyle and Physiological Risk Factor Profiles Six Weeks After An Acute Cardiac Event: Are Patients Achieving Recommended Targets for Secondary Prevention?

Heart Research Centre, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria 3050, Australia.
Heart, Lung and Circulation (Impact Factor: 1.44). 03/2011; 20(7):446-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.hlc.2011.02.004
Source: PubMed


People who have had a cardiac event are at increased risk of a subsequent event and death and are, therefore, the priority for preventive cardiology in Australia and elsewhere. Guidelines for physiological and lifestyle risk factors have been developed to encourage risk reduction as a means of secondary prevention. The aim of the present study was to investigate achievement of recommended risk factor targets in a sample of Australian cardiac patients.
A consecutive sample of 275 patients admitted to one of two Melbourne hospitals after acute myocardial infarction (AMI; 32%) or for coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABGS; 40%) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; 28%) participated in risk factor screening approximately five weeks after hospital discharge. The 2007 National Heart Foundation (NHF) of Australia 'Guidelines for Reducing Risk in Heart Disease' (1) and the 2001 NHF and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand lipid management guidelines (2) were used to define risk factor targets. Target achievement was compared for AMI, CABGS and PCI patients.
Patients ranged in age from 32 to 75 years (mean=59.0; SD=9.1). Most (86%) were male. Almost three quarters of the patients were above recommended targets for waist girth (70%) and almost half were above targets for blood pressure (48%) and below target for high density lipoprotein cholesterol (47%). Around a quarter were over target for total cholesterol (27%) and under target for physical activity (27%). Most patients met the NHF guidelines of non-smoking (95%) and restricted alcohol consumption (88%). For several risk factors, PCI patients were at greater risk of not achieving recommended targets than either CABGS or AMI patients.
Six weeks after an acute cardiac event, substantial proportions of Australian patients do not achieve recommended targets for waist girth, blood pressure, total cholesterol, physical activity, and HDL cholesterol. PCI patients are particularly at risk. Considerable potential remains for improving risk factor management in CHD patients, highlighting the important role of general practitioners, outpatient cardiac rehabilitation and other secondary prevention strategies.

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    • "For people with coronary heart disease (CHD) secondary preventive measures including changes in behavioural risk factors and lifestyle are important to ensure future health and prevent complications [17-21]. However, studies have indicated that lifestyle changes are difficult to maintain [22] and support for people making lifestyle changes is crucial [23,24]. To the best of our knowledge, no studies have described which known risk factors for CHD people had before they suffered out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with validated myocardial infarction aetiology (OHCA-V). "
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    ABSTRACT: The known risk factors for coronary heart disease among people prior suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with validated myocardial infarction aetiology and their thoughts about what lifestyle means to them after surviving have rarely been described. Therefore the aim of the study was to describe risk factors and lifestyle among survivors. An explanatory mixed methods design was used. All people registered in the Northern Sweden MONICA myocardial registry between the year 1989 to 2007 who survived out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with validated myocardial infarction aetiology and were alive at the 28th day after the onset of symptoms (n = 71) were included in the quantitative analysis. Thirteen of them participated in interviews conducted in 2011 and analysed via a qualitative manifest content analysis. About 60 % of the people had no history of ischemic heart disease before the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but 20 % had three cardiovascular risk factors (i.e., hypertension, diabetes mellitus, total cholesterol of more or equal 5 mmol/l or taking lipid lowering medication, and current smoker). Three categories (i.e., significance of lifestyle, modifying the lifestyle to the new life situation and a changed view on life) and seven sub-categories emerged from the qualitative analysis. For many people out-of-hospital cardiac arrest was the first symptom of coronary heart disease. Interview participants were well informed about their cardiovascular risk factors and the benefits of risk factor treatment. In spite of that, some chose to ignore this knowledge to some extent and preferred to live a "good life", where risk factor treatment played a minor part. The importance of the support of family members in terms of feeling happy and having fun was highlighted by the interview participants and expressed as being the meaning of lifestyle. Perhaps the person with illness together with health care workers should focus more on the meaningful and joyful things in life and try to adopt healthy behaviours linked to these things.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · BMC Cardiovascular Disorders

  • No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Heart, Lung and Circulation
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    ABSTRACT: There is little information on whether identification of multi-vessel disease (MVD) in patients with diabetic mellitus (DM) affects risk factor management. From 1125 consecutively screened patients between June 2006 and March 2010, we examined 227 diabetic patients with MVD on coronary angiography. Diabetic control and cholesterol levels were assessed by glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and total cholesterol (TC) respectively which were evaluated at baseline and at 1-year follow-up. Patients were grouped by age into <55(n=33), 55-65(n=75), 66-75(n=75) and >75(n=44). Target levels were defined as HbA1c<7% and TC<4.0mmol/L. Patients <55years had the highest HbA1c at 9.1[7.6-11.2]% with the lowest proportion of patients (n=3; 11.1%) within target at baseline, while 66-75years had the best HbA1c at 7.1[6.4-7.8]% with the highest proportion (n=28, 45.2%) reaching target (p<0.0001). At 1-year, the poorest HbA1c control was again observed in the age <55 with fewer patients achieving target compared to the 66-75 age group (HbA1c: 8.5% vs 6.9%; % of patients at target: 20.7% vs 54.5%; p<0.0001). Furthermore, the group <55years demonstrated the worst TC control at 1-year with a significant increase compared to the baseline TC (p=0.01). Patients with a lower body mass index (BMI) were likely to have an improvement in HbA1c and reach target (p=0.01). Paradoxically, patients who were current smokers demonstrated a beneficial effect on optimal TC control (29.2% vs 15.4%, p=0.027). In younger diabetic patients, risk factor modification at 1-year was poor despite identification of MVD. Developing an effective education and monitoring programme to improve glycaemic control in this high risk group should be a priority.
    No preview · Article · May 2012 · International journal of cardiology
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