Improving cardiovascular prevention through patient awareness

Melhora da prevenção cardiovascular pelo conhecimento do paciente

Veronica Y. P. Chang Karen K. Handa Marcos Fernandes Carolina Yacoub Adriana Pastana Bruno Caramelli Daniela Calderaro About the authors

OBJECTIVE: Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) or coronary artery disease (CAD) must have their risk factors rigorously controlled, but there is a gap between practice and ideal. This study aimed to demonstrate how cardiovascular prevention is performed for these patients in a Brazilian university hospital, and to identify predictors of good practice. METHODS: 192 patients with CAD or PAD were included in this transversal study. Six prevention goals were analyzed: 1) systolic blood pressure < 140 mmHg; 2) diastolic blood pressure < 90 mmHg; 3) LDL < 100 mg/dL; 4) HDL > 40 mg/dL for men/ > 50 mg/dL for women; 5) not smoking; 6) regular practice of aerobic exercise. RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 65.7 years, and 60% were men. The percentage of patients that achieved goals 1 to 6 was 57.3%, 67.2%, 40.1%, 27.6%, 88.5%, and 25%, respectively. The average number of goals achieved by patients was 3.06 ± 1.31. When asked about the reason for being treated, 182(94.8%) patients claimed to know about their disease, but when the diagnosis reported by the patients with the physician's diagnosis were compared, it was discordant in 12% of cases. The average number of goals achieved by patients was 2.67 and 3.46 for the PAD and the CAD group, respectively. The independent predictors of a higher number of goals/patient were: male gender (p = 0.011), hospitalization (p < 0.0001), CAD diagnosis (p = 0.011), knowing the reason for treatment (p = 0.028), and receiving prescription of β -blocker (p = 0.011). CONCLUSION: Even in an university hospital, prevention is far from ideal. Efforts to increase patients' awareness should be stimulated, and can possibly improve the effectiveness of preventive measures.

Atherosclerosis; risk factors; peripheral arterial disease; coronary disease; prevention

Associação Médica Brasileira R. São Carlos do Pinhal, 324, 01333-903 São Paulo SP - Brazil, Tel: +55 11 3178-6800, Fax: +55 11 3178-6816 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil