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J Gen Intern Med. 2009 Jan;24(1):33-9. doi: 10.1007/s11606-008-0825-4. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

Discussing coronary risk with patients to improve blood pressure treatment: secondary results from the CHECK-UP study.

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McGill Cardiovascular Health Improvement Program, The McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada.



Hypertension is common among patients with dyslipidemia but is often poorly treated. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate how a decision aid, used by primary care physicians to improve lipid therapy, impacted on the treatment of hypertension.


Data were analyzed from patients enrolled in a randomized trial focusing primarily on the treatment of dyslipidemia. Patients received usual care or a coronary risk profile every three months to monitor the risk reduction following lifestyle changes and/or pharmacotherapy to treat dyslipidemia. Hypertension management was assessed based on a post hoc analysis of individuals whose blood pressure exceeded current national hypertension guidelines.


There were 2,631 subjects who completed the study. Among 1,352 patients without diagnosed hypertension, 30% were above target on at least three consecutive visits. Among 1,279 individuals with known hypertension, 69% were above target on at least two consecutive visits. Overall, patients receiving risk profiles were more likely to receive appropriate antihypertensive therapy (OR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.11-1.78) compared to those receiving usual care. After adjustment for inter-physician variability and potential confounders, the use of the risk profile was associated with an increased likelihood of starting therapy (OR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.06-3.00) or modifying therapy (OR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.03-1.91).


In this clinical trial of dyslipidemia management, inadequately controlled hypertension was common, occurring in nearly 50% of individuals. Ongoing coronary risk assessment was associated with more appropriate blood pressure management. Cardiovascular risk assessment decision aids should be further evaluated in a randomized trial of hypertension therapy.

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