(Secondary prevention in coronary heart disease: baseline survey of provision in general practice)
(Secondary prevention clinics for coronary heart disease: randomised trial of effect on health)
In two General Practice papers in this week's BMJ, Dr Neil Campbell et al from the University of Aberdeen find that secondary prevention for coronary heart disease could be improved within general practice and that where clinics to promote secondary prevention have been set up, the health of patients has improved.
In their study undertaken in the Grampian region, the authors found that half of patients with coronary heart disease in general practice had missed at least two opportunities for effective medical treatment, such as prescribing Beta blockers or aspirin. They also discovered that nearly two thirds of patients had two or more high risk lifestyle factors that would benefit from change, such as exercising, giving up smoking or a eating a better diet.
The authors also found that practices which ran nurse led clinics to promote secondary prevention, had healthier patients at the end of their one year study, with less chest pain and a reduction in hospital admissions.
Campbell et al conclude that even though there are known benefits to the implementation of secondary care to patients with coronary heart disease, there seems to be plenty of opportunity for improving procedures within general practice.
Dr Neil Campbell, Clinical Research Fellow, Department of General Practice and Primary Care, University of Aberdeen Fosterhill Health Centre, Aberdeen email@example.com