Survey of physicians' practices in the control of cardiovascular risk factors: The EURIKA study

Service d'Epidemiologie et Santé Publique, Institut Pasteur de Lille, INSERM U744, Univ Lille Nord de France, 1 rue du Pr Calmette, Lille Cedex, France.
European journal of preventive cardiology 04/2011; 19(3):541-50. DOI: 10.1177/1741826711407705
Source: PubMed


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 ( 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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    • "The European Study on Cardiovascular Risk Prevention and Management in Usual Daily Practice (EURIKA; Identifier: NCT00882336) was recently conducted to assess the management of cardiovascular risk factors in primary care in Europe [17-19]. We have carried out a post hoc analysis of this study to assess the prevalence of elevated CRP levels in patients with one or more traditional cardiovascular risk factors, across a range of levels of conventionally estimated global cardiovascular risk. "
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are associated with high cardiovascular risk, and might identify patients who could benefit from more carefully adapted risk factor management. We have assessed the prevalence of elevated CRP levels in patients with one or more traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Data were analysed from the European Study on Cardiovascular Risk Prevention and Management in Usual Daily Practice (EURIKA, Identifier: NCT00882336), which included patients (aged >=50 years) from 12 European countries with at least one traditional cardiovascular risk factor but no history of cardiovascular disease. Analysis was also carried out on the subset of patients without diabetes mellitus who were not receiving statin therapy. In the overall population, CRP levels were positively correlated with body mass index and glycated haemoglobin levels, and were negatively correlated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. CRP levels were also higher in women, those at higher traditionally estimated cardiovascular risk and those with greater numbers of metabolic syndrome markers. Among patients without diabetes mellitus who were not receiving statin therapy, approximately 30% had CRP levels >=3 mg/L, and approximately 50% had CRP levels >=2 mg/L, including those at intermediate levels of traditionally estimated cardiovascular risk. CRP levels are elevated in a large proportion of patients with at least one cardiovascular risk factor, without diabetes mellitus who are not receiving statin therapy, suggesting a higher level of cardiovascular risk than predicted according to conventional risk estimation systems. Trial registration: Identifier: NCT00882336.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · BMC Cardiovascular Disorders
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    • "For the younger population some national guidelines even suggest to intervene at a lower risk threshold [5]. Despite recommendations, many physicians feel that healthcare’s resources and budget are insufficient for all primary prevention activities and cannot meet the needs of this group of people [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background One of the main family practice interventions in the younger healthy population is advice on how to keep or develop a healthy lifestyle. In this study we explored the level of counselling regarding healthy lifestyle by family physicians and the factors associated with it. Methods A cross-sectional study with a random sample of 36 family practices, stratified by size and location. Each practice included up to 40 people aged 18–45 with low/medium risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Data were obtained by patient and practice questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Several predictors on the patient and practice level for received advice in seven areas of CVD prevention were applied in corresponding models using a two-level logistic regression analysis. Results Less than half of the eligible people received advice for the presented risk factors and the majority of them found it useful. Practices with medium patient list-sizes showed consistently higher level of advice in all areas of CVD prevention. Independent predictors for receiving advice on cholesterol management were patients’ higher weight (regression coefficient 0.04, p=0.03), urban location of practice (regression coefficient 0.92, p=0.04), organisation of education by the practice (regression coefficient 0.47, p=0.01) and practice list size (regression coefficient 6.04, p=0.04). Patients who self-assessed their health poorly more frequently received advice on smoking (regression coefficient −0.26, p=0.03). Hypertensive patients received written information more often (regression coefficient 0.66, p=0.04). People with increased weight more often received advice for children’s lifestyle (regression coefficient 0.06, p=0.03). We did not find associations with patient or practice characteristics and advice regarding weight and physical activity. We did not find a common pattern of predictors for advice. Conclusions Counselling for risk diseases such as increased cholesterol is more frequently provided than basic lifestyle counselling. We found some doctors and practice factors associated with counselling behaviour, but the majority has to be explained by further studies.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · BMC Family Practice
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    • "The most important reason reported by physicians for being sceptical about recommendations was the existence of too many guidelines, a result similar to that found by researchers of the EURIKA study [12]. PCPs may be overwhelmed by the amount of literature they receive and the existence of multiple guidelines for the same topic, which renders it difficult for them to determine which one is/are the best to use in clinical practice. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The successful implementation of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention guidelines relies heavily on primary care physicians (PCPs) providing risk factor evaluation, intervention and patient education. The aim of this study was to ascertain the degree of awareness and implementation of the Spanish adaptation of the European guidelines on CVD prevention in clinical practice (CEIPC guidelines) among PCPs. Methods A cross-sectional survey of PCPs was conducted in Spain between January and June 2011. A random sample of 1,390 PCPs was obtained and stratified by region. Data were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Results More than half (58%) the physicians were aware of and knew the recommendations, and 62% of those claimed to use them in clinical practice, with general physicians (without any specialist accreditation) being less likely to so than family doctors. Most PCPs (60%) did not assess cardiovascular risk, with the limited time available in the surgery being cited as the greatest barrier by 81%. The main reason to be sceptical about recommendations, reported by 71% of physicians, was that there are too many guidelines. Almost half the doctors cited the lack of training and skills as the greatest barrier to the implementation of lifestyle and behavioural change recommendations. Conclusions Most PCPs were aware of the Spanish adaptation of the European guidelines on CVD prevention (CEIPC guidelines) and knew their content. However, only one third of PCPs used the guidelines in clinical practice and less than half CVD risk assessment tools.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · BMC Family Practice
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