Use of evidence-based therapy for the prevention of cardiovascular events among older people

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Evaluation and the Health Professions, 2010, 33 (3), pp. 276 - 301
Issue Date:
2010-09-02
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Evidence-based therapies (EBTs) for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are reportedly underutilized in older people. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of EBTs for the prevention of CVD events in older people and secondarily whether a Home Medicines Review (HMR) service by pharmacists' predicts the use of these medicines. A retrospective cross-sectional audit of HMR reports pertaining to 608 community-dwelling older people (≥65 years) was conducted. EBTs considered for this audit included four guideline-recommended therapies for CVD: antithrombotic therapy (warfarin ± antiplatelet therapy), β-blockers, statins, and angiotensin agents (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors [ACEI] ± angiotensin II receptor blockers [ARBs]). The prevalence of EBT use among the older people, mean age (SD) 75.6 (7.5) years, was: 73% for antithrombotic therapy, 75% for statins, 74% for angiotensin therapy, and 35% for β-blockers. CVD risk factors warranting treatment with these EBTs were frequently associated with use of EBTs. EBTs were least likely to be used in those with coronary interventions like coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)/stent insertion (all EBTs except angiotensin agents) and angiotensin agents in those with a history of myocardial infarction or chronic heart failure. A pharmacist-led HMR service was significantly associated with the prescribing of all 4 EBTs. The results from this study show good adherence to evidence-based guidelines in general, although there is still room for improvement to further optimize clinical outcomes in these complex patients. The study also adds to the available literature on the effectiveness of pharmacists' collaborative contribution to the care of these high-risk patients. © The Author(s) 2010.
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