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J Prim Health Care. 2011 Jun 1;3(2):93-101.

Under-utilisation of preventive medication in patients with cardiovascular disease is greatest in younger age groups (PREDICT-CVD 15).

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Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, PB 92019 Auckland, New Zealand.



Blood pressure-lowering (BPL) and lipid-lowering (LL) medications together reduce estimated absolute five-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk by >40%. International studies indicate that the proportion of people with CVD receiving pharmacotherapy increases with advancing age.


To compare BPL and LL medications, by sociodemographic characteristics, for patients with known CVD in primary care settings.


The study population included patients aged 35-74 with known CVD assessed in primary care from July 2006 to October 2009 using a web-based computerised decision support system (PREDICT) for risk assessment and management. Clinical data linked anonymously to national sociodemographic and pharmaceutical dispensing databases. Differences in dispensing BPL and LL medications in six months before first PREDICT assessment was analysed according to age, sex, ethnicity and deprivation.


Of 7622 people with CVD, 1625 <55 years old, 2862 were women and 4609 lived in deprived areas (NZDep quintiles 4/5). The study population included 4249 European, 1556 Maori, 1151 Pacific and 329 Indian peoples. BPL medications were dispensed to 81%, LL medications to 73%, both BPL and LL medications to 67%, and 87% received either class of medication. Compared with people aged 65-75, people aged 35-44 were 30-40% less likely and those aged 45-54 were 10-15% less likely to be dispensed BPL, LL medications or both. There were minimal differences in likelihood of dispensing according to sex, ethnicity or deprivation.


BPL and LL medications are under-utilised in patients with known CVD in New Zealand. Only two-thirds of patients in this cohort are on both. Younger patients are considerably less likely to be on recommended medications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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