Hypertension guidelines recommend that absolute cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk guide the management of hypertensive patients. This study aimed to assess the proportion of patients with diagnosed hypertension with sufficient data to calculate absolute CVD risk and determine whether CVD risk is associated with prescribing of antihypertensive therapies. This was a cross-sectional study using a large national database of electronic medical records of patients attending general practice in 2018 (MedicineInsight). Of 571,492 patients aged 45–74 years without a history of CVD, 251,733 [40.6% (95% CI: 39.8–41.2)] had a recorded hypertension diagnosis. The proportion of patients with sufficient recorded data available to calculate CVD risk was higher for patients diagnosed with hypertension [51.0% (95% CI: 48.0–53.9)] than for patients without a diagnosis of hypertension [38.7% (95% CI: 36.5–41.0)]. Of those patients with sufficient data to calculate CVD risk, 29.3% (95% CI: 28.1–30.6) were at high risk clinically, 6.0% (95% CI: 5.8–6.3) were at high risk based on their CVD risk score, 12.8% (95% CI: 12.5–13.2) at moderate risk and 51.8% (95% CI: 50.8–52.9) at low risk. The overall prevalence of antihypertensive therapy was 60.9% (95% CI: 59.3–62.5). Prescribing was slightly lower in patients at high risk based on their CVD risk score [57.4% (95% CI: 55.4–59.4)] compared with those at low [63.3% (95% CI: 61.9–64.8)] or moderate risk [61.8% (95% CI: 60.2–63.4)] or at high risk clinically [64.1% (95% CI: 61.9–66.3)]. Guideline adherence is suboptimal, and many patients miss out on treatments that may prevent future CVD events.
- Preventive medicine
- Risk factors