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Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2007 Jun;14(3):386-91.

Use of secondary preventive medications after the first attack of acute coronary syndrome.

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1
KTL-National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland. veikko.salomaa@ktl.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is not well-known to what extent evidence-based medications, such as beta-blockers, hypolipidemic medications, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, are prescribed after an attack of acute coronary syndrome in the general healthcare setting and what is the compliance of patients with these prescriptions.

DESIGN:

We conducted a countrywide record linkage study.

METHODS:

We used record linkage of the National Hospital Discharge Register, Causes of Death Register, and Social Insurance Institution's drug reimbursement records to identify drug purchases of patients aged 35-74 years hospitalized for the first nonfatal acute coronary syndrome in Finland during 1995-2003 (n=53 353).

RESULTS:

In 2003 about 28 and 15% of the patients did not receive hypolipidemic medications or beta-blockers, respectively, after their acute coronary syndrome and a further 6 and 10% discontinued the use about 3 months later. Patients aged 65-74 years were less likely to receive hypolipidemic medications [odds ratio (OR) 0.55; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.53-0.58] and beta-blockers (OR 0.77; 95% CI, 0.74-0.81) than younger patients. Diabetic patients received less hypolipidemic medications (OR 0.82; 95% CI, 0.78-0.86) and were more likely to discontinue the medication (OR 1.15; 95% CI, 1.05-1.26) than nondiabetic patients. In proportional hazards regression analyses the regular use of hypolipidemic medication or beta-blockers was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular death: adjusted hazard ratios 0.47 (95% CI, 0.41-0.53) and 0.54 (95% CI, 0.49-0.60), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study showed that the evidence-based use of medications after acute coronary syndrome was suboptimal in Finland, particularly in elderly and diabetic patients. Consistent use of these medications, however, was associated with a better prognosis.

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