Suboptimal management of cardiovascular risk factors in coronary heart disease patients in primary care occurs particularly in women

Andrea Driscoll, Alison Beauchamp, Greg Lyubomirsky, Lisa Demos, John McNeil, Andrew Tonkin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Patients with established coronary heart disease (CHD) are at the highest risk of further events. Despite proven therapies, secondary prevention is often suboptimal. General practitioners (GPs) are in an ideal position to improve secondary prevention. Aim: To contrast management of cardiovascular risk factors in patients with established CHD in primary care to those in clinical guidelines and according to gender. Methods: GPs throughout Australia were approached to participate in a programme incorporating a disease management software (mdCare) program. Participating practitioners (1258 GPs) recruited individual patients whose cardiovascular risk factor levels were measured. Results: The mdCare programme included 12509 patients (58% male) diagnosed with CHD. Their mean age was 71.7years (intra-quartile range 66-78) for men and 74years (intra-quartile range 68-80) for women. Low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol was above target levels in 69% (2032) of women compared with 58% (2487) in men (P < 0.0001). There was also a higher proportion of women with total cholesterol above target levels (76%, 3592) compared with men (57%, 3787) (P < 0.0001). In patients who were prescribed lipid-lowering medication, 53% (2504) of men and 72% (2285) of women continued to have a total cholesterol higher than recommended target levels (P < 0.0001). Overall, over half (52%, 6538) had at least five cardiovascular risk factors (55% (2914) in women and 50% (3624) in men, P < 0.0001). Conclusion: This study found less intensive management of cardiovascular risk factors in CHD patients, particularly among women, despite equivalent cardiovascular risk. This study has shown that these patients have multiple risk factors where gender also plays a role.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)730-736
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternal Medicine Journal
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


    • Coronary heart disease
    • Primary care
    • Risk factor


    Dive into the research topics of 'Suboptimal management of cardiovascular risk factors in coronary heart disease patients in primary care occurs particularly in women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this