Reduction in estimated stroke risk associated with practice-based stroke-risk assessment and awareness in a large, representative population of hypertensive patients: results from the ForLife study in

J Hypertens. 2007 Dec;25(12):2390-2397
Volpe M, Rosei EA, Ambrosioni E, Leonetti G, Trimarco B, Mancia G.
aDivision of Cardiology, II Faculty of Medicine, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, SantʼAndrea Hospital, Rome bIRCCS Neuromed, Pozzilli, Iernia cDepartment of Medical and Surgical Sciences, II Division of Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliera Spedali Civili, Brescia dDivision of Internal Medicine Division, University of Bologna, Policlinico SantʼOrsola, Bologna eIRCCS, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, I Division of Cardiology, San Luca Hospital, Milan fDepartment of Clinical Medicine and Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Naples ‘Federico II’, Naples gUniversity of Milano–Bicocca, Ospedale San Gerardo di Monza, Monza, Italy.

OBJECTIVE: A previous analysis of the ForLife study demonstrated a high estimated risk of stroke, poor blood pressure control and higher cardiovascular risk. Data from a subsequent visit within 6 months, to evaluate the impact of systematic stroke risk assessment, are reported.

METHODS: Between February and July 2003, 1800 general practitioners (GPs) recruited a total of 12 792 (7512 untreated and 5280 treated) patients with hypertension. Blood pressure values were assessed in the whole study population, and for different demographic and clinical features in two visits within 6 months. The data were recorded into a Framingham-based stroke risk score and computed using a risk calculator.

RESULTS: Between the two visits the percentage of patients with controlled blood pressure (< 140/90 mmHg) increased substantially in all subgroups, being greater in patients who were not treated at baseline. Among initially treated patients, the greater control of blood pressure involved both diastolic and systolic values. The percentage of patients with diabetes whose blood pressure levels were less than 130/80 mmHg also increased at the second visit. Between the two visits the estimated stroke risk score showed a reduction, with a significant shift of patients from high to intermediate and low-risk categories. This reduction involved all subgroups, including patients with diabetes and left ventricular hypertrophy.

CONCLUSION: The present large-scale observational study demonstrates that the assessment of stroke risk and increased awareness of stroke risk factors by GPs is associated with improved blood pressure control, reduced cardiovascular risk profile and a prompt reduction in the 10-year estimated risk of stroke.




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