Publications by authors named "Dirk De Bacquer"

282 Publications

Dyslipidemia Management in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease. Data from the POLASPIRE Survey.

J Clin Med 2021 Aug 20;10(16). Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Population Studies, Institute of Public Health, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 31-066 Kraków, Poland.

Lipid-lowering in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) is related to a lower risk of cardiovascular events. We evaluated factors related to the management of hypercholesterolemia in patients with established CAD. Patients were interviewed 6-18 months after hospitalization for an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or a myocardial revascularization procedure. Statins were prescribed at discharge to 94.4% of patients, while 68.1% of the patients hospitalized for an ACS were prescribed a high-dose statin. Hospitalization in a teaching hospital, percutaneous coronary intervention, cholesterol measurement during hospitalization and the male sex were related to prescription of statins at discharge. The intensity of lipid-lowering therapy in the post-discharge period increased in 17.3%, decreased in 11.7%, and did not change in 71.0% of the patients. The prescription of a lipid-lowering drug (LLD) at discharge (odds ratio 5.88 [95% confidence intervals 3.05-11.34]) and a consultation with a cardiologist (2.48 [1.51-4.08]) were related to the use of LLDs, while age (1.32 [1.10-1.59] per 10 years), loneliness (0.42 [0.19-0.94]), professional activity (1.56 [1.13-2.16]), and diabetes (1.66 [1.27-2.16]) were related to achieving an LDL cholesterol goal 6-18 months after discharge. In conclusion, health-system-related factors are associated with the LLD utilization, whereas mainly patient-related factors are related to the control of hypercholesterolemia following hospitalization for CAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10163711DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8396933PMC
August 2021

The impact of multimorbidity patterns on health-related quality of life in the general population: results of the Belgian Health Interview Survey.

Qual Life Res 2021 Aug 23. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, University Hospital, Corneel Heymanslaan 10 4K3, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.

Background: Chronic diseases and multimorbidity are a major cause of disease burden-for patients, caregivers, and society. Little is known however about potential interaction effects between specific disease combinations. Besides an additive effect, the presence of multiple conditions could also act synergistically or antagonistically regarding the impact on patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The aim was to estimate the impact of coexisting chronic diseases on HRQoL of the adult general Belgian population.

Methods: The Belgian Health Interview Survey 2018 provided data on self-reported chronic conditions and HRQoL (EQ-5D-5L) for a nationally representative sample. Linear mixed models were used to analyze two-way and three-way interactions of disease combinations on HRQoL.

Results: Multimorbidity had a prevalence of 46.7% (≥ 2 conditions) and 29.7% (≥ 3 conditions). HRQoL decreased considerably with the presence of multiple chronic diseases. 14 out of 41 dyad combinations and 5 out of 13 triad combinations showed significant interactions, with a dominant presence of negative/synergistic effects. Positive/antagonistic effects were found in more subjective chronic diseases such as depression and chronic fatigue. Conditions appearing the most frequently in significant disease pair interactions were dorsopathies, respiratory diseases, and arthropathies.

Conclusions: Diverse multimorbidity patterns, both dyads and triads, were synergistically or antagonistically associated with lower HRQoL. Tackling the burden of multimorbidity is needed, especially because most disease combinations affect each other synergistically, resulting in a greater reduction in HRQoL. Further knowledge about those multimorbidity patterns with a greater impact on HRQoL is needed to better understand disease burden beyond mortality and morbidity data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11136-021-02951-wDOI Listing
August 2021

INTERASPIRE: an International Survey of Coronary Patients; Their Cardiometabolic, Renal and Biomarker Status; and the Quality of Preventive Care Delivered in All WHO Regions : In Partnership with the World Heart Federation, European Society of Cardiology, Asia Pacific Society of Cardiology, InterAmerican Society of Cardiology, and PanAfrican Society of Cardiology.

Curr Cardiol Rep 2021 08 19;23(10):136. Epub 2021 Aug 19.

Co-ordinating Centre: National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland.

Purpose Of Review: To describe the INTERASPIRE scientific protocol-an international survey of secondary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Recent Findings: This international survey is being conducted through National Societies of Cardiology in selected countries from each of the six WHO regions and has the following overall aims: (i) describe prevalence of cardiometabolic and renal risk factors together with biomarkers in CHD patients; (ii) describe current risk factor management through lifestyle changes and cardioprotective drug therapies; (iii) provide an objective assessment of clinical implementation of preventive care by comparison with the lifestyle and risk factor targets defined in international and national guidelines; (iv) investigate the reasons for variation in preventive cardiology practice between regions and countries; and (v) promote the principles of best preventive cardiology practice. This international survey will provide a unique picture of CHD patients; their cardiometabolic, renal and biomarker status; lifestyle and therapeutic management; and the quality of preventive care provided in all WHO regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11886-021-01568-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8374115PMC
August 2021

Potential for optimizing management of obesity in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease.

Eur Heart J Qual Care Clin Outcomes 2021 Jul 27. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Department of Medicine, Solna, Karolinska Institutet, FoU - Tema Hjärta och Kärl, S1:02, Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset/Solna, SE-171 76, Stockholm, Sweden.

Aims: Prevention guidelines have identified the management of obese patients as an important priority to reduce the burden of incident and recurrent cardiovascular disease. Still, studies have demonstrated that over 80% of patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) fail to achieve their weight target. Here, we describe advice received and actions reported by overweight CHD patients since being discharged from hospital and how weight changes relate to their risk profile.

Methods And Results: Based on data from 10 507 CHD patients participating in the EUROASPIRE IV and V studies, we analysed weight changes from hospital admission to the time of a study visit ≥6 and <24 months later. At hospitalization, 34.9% were obese and another 46.0% were overweight. Obesity was more frequent in women and associated with more comorbidities. By the time of the study visit, 19.5% of obese patients had lost ≥5% of weight. However, in 16.4% weight had increased ≥5%. Weight gain in those overweight was associated with physical inactivity, non-adherence to dietary recommendations, smoking cessation, raised blood pressure, dyslipidaemia, dysglycaemia, and lower levels of quality of life. Less than half of obese patients was considering weight loss in the coming month.

Conclusions: The management of obesity remains a challenge in the secondary prevention of CHD despite a beneficial effect of weight loss on risk factor prevalences and quality of life. Cardiac rehabilitation programmes should include weight loss interventions as a specific component and the incremental value of telehealth intervention as well as recently described pharmacological interventions need full consideration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehjqcco/qcab043DOI Listing
July 2021

Poor adherence to lifestyle recommendations in patients with coronary heart disease: results from the EUROASPIRE surveys.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2021 Jul 19. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.

Aims : Despite the high use of cardioprotective medications, the risk factor control in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) is still inadequate. Guidelines identify healthy lifestyles as equally important in secondary prevention as pharmacotherapy. Here, we describe reasons for poor lifestyle adherence from the patient's perspective.

Methods And Results : In the EUROASPIRE IV and V surveys, 16 259 CHD patients were examined and interviewed during a study visit ≥6 months after hospital discharge. Data gathering was fully standardized. The Brief Illness Perception questionnaire was completed by a subsample of 2379 patients. Half of those who were smoking prior to hospital admission, were still smoking; 37% of current smokers had not attempted to quit and 51% was not considering to do so. The prevalence of obesity was 38%. Half of obese patients tried to lose weight in the past month and 61% considered weight loss in the following month. In relation to physical activity, 40% was on target with half of patients trying to do more everyday activities. Less than half had the intention to engage in planned exercise. Only 29% of all patients was at goal for all three lifestyle factors. The number of adverse lifestyles was strongly related to the way patients perceive their illness as threatening. Lifestyle modifications were more successful in those having participated in a cardiac rehabilitation and prevention programme. Patients indicated lack of self-confidence as the main barrier to change their unhealthy behaviour.

Conclusion : Modern secondary prevention programmes should target behavioural change in all patients with adverse lifestyles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwab115DOI Listing
July 2021

Euthanasia in adults with psychiatric conditions: A descriptive study of the experiences of Belgian psychiatrists.

Sci Prog 2021 Jul-Sep;104(3):368504211029775

Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

To investigate the experience of psychiatrists who completed assessment procedures of euthanasia requests from adults with psychiatric conditions (APC) over the last 12 months. Between November 2018 and April 2019 a cross-sectional survey was sent to a sample of 753 psychiatrists affiliated with Belgian organisations of psychiatrists to gather detailed information on their latest experience with a completed euthanasia assessment procedure, irrespective of its outcome (i.e. euthanasia being performed or not). Information on 46 unique cases revealed that most APC suffered from comorbid psychiatric and/or somatic disorders, and had received different kinds of treatment for many years prior to their euthanasia request. Existential suffering was the main reason for the request. The entire procedure spanned an average of 14 months, and an average of 13.5 months in the 23 cases that culminated in the performance of euthanasia. In all cases, the entire procedure entailed multidisciplinary consultations, including with family and friends. Psychiatrists reported fewer difficulties in assessing due care criteria related to the APC's self-contemplation - for example, unbearable suffering on top of the due care criteria related to their medical condition; incurability due to lack of reasonable treatment perspectives. In a few cases in which euthanasia was the outcome, not all legal criteria were fulfilled in the reporting physicians' opinions. Both positive and negative experiences of the assessment procedure were reported: for example, reduced suicide risk for the APC; an emotional burden and a feeling of being pressured for the psychiatrist. This study confirms that euthanasia assessment in APC entails a lengthy process with diverse complexities, and psychiatrists require support in more than one respect if the assessments are to be handled adequately. Thorough evaluation of current guidelines is recommended: that is, to what extent the guidelines sufficiently address the complexities around (e.g.) assessing legal criteria or involving relatives. We formulate various avenues for further research to build on this study's insights and to fill remaining knowledge gaps.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00368504211029775DOI Listing
July 2021

Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE): JACC Focus Seminar 4/8.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 Jun;77(24):3046-3057

University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Clinical estimation of the combined effect of several risk factors is unreliable and this resulted in the development of a number of risk estimation systems to guide clinical practice. Here, after defining general principles of risk estimation, the authors describe the evolution of the European Society of Cardiology's (ESC) Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) risk estimation system and some learnings from the data. They move on to describe the establishment of the ESC's Cardiovascular Risk Collaboration and outline its proposed research directions. First among these is the evolution of SCORE 2, which provides updated, calibrated risk estimates for total cardiovascular events for low, moderate, high, and very high-risk regions of Europe. The authors conclude by considering that the future of risk estimation may be to express risk as years of exposure to a cardiovascular risk factor profile rather than risk over a fixed time period, such as 10 years, and how advances in genetics may permit individualized lifetime risk estimation from childhood on.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.04.052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8091419PMC
June 2021

Dietary Methyl-Group Donor Intake and Breast Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Nutrients 2021 May 28;13(6). Epub 2021 May 28.

Office of the Director, International Agency for Research on Cancer, CEDEX 08, 69372 Lyon, France.

(1) Background: Methyl-group donors (MGDs), including folate, choline, betaine, and methionine, may influence breast cancer (BC) risk through their role in one-carbon metabolism; (2) Methods: We studied the relationship between dietary intakes of MGDs and BC risk, adopting data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort; (3) Results: 318,686 pre- and postmenopausal women were followed between enrolment in 1992-2000 and December 2013-December 2015. Dietary MGD intakes were estimated at baseline through food-frequency questionnaires. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to quantify the association between dietary intake of MGDs, measured both as a calculated score based on their sum and individually, and BC risk. Subgroup analyses were performed by hormone receptor status, menopausal status, and level of alcohol intake. During a mean follow-up time of 14.1 years, 13,320 women with malignant BC were identified. No associations were found between dietary intakes of the MGD score or individual MGDs and BC risk. However, a potential U-shaped relationship was observed between dietary folate intake and overall BC risk, suggesting an inverse association for intakes up to 350 µg/day compared to a reference intake of 205 µg/day. No statistically significant differences in the associations were observed by hormone receptor status, menopausal status, or level of alcohol intake; (4) Conclusions: There was no strong evidence for an association between MGDs involved in one-carbon metabolism and BC risk. However, a potential U-shaped trend was suggested for dietary folate intake and BC risk. Further research is needed to clarify this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13061843DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8228096PMC
May 2021

Primary prevention efforts are poorly developed in people at high cardiovascular risk: A report from the European Society of Cardiology EURObservational Research Programme EUROASPIRE V survey in 16 European countries.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2021 May;28(4):370-379

National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health, National University of Ireland-Galway, Republic of Ireland.

Background: European Action on Secondary and Primary Prevention by Intervention to Reduce Events (EUROASPIRE) V in primary care was carried out by the European Society of Cardiology EURObservational Research Programme in 2016-2018. The main objective was to determine whether the 2016 Joint European Societies' guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention in people at high cardiovascular risk have been implemented in clinical practice.

Methods: The method used was a cross-stional survey in 78 centres from 16 European countries. Patients without a history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease either started on blood pressure and/or lipid and/or glucose lowering treatments were identified and interviewed ≥ 6 months after the start of medication.

Results: A total of 3562 medical records were reviewed and 2759 patients (57.6% women; mean age 59.0 ± 11.6 years) interviewed (interview rate 70.0%). The risk factor control was poor with 18.1% of patients being smokers, 43.5% obese (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2) and 63.8% centrally obese (waist circumference ≥88 cm for women, ≥102 cm for men). Of patients on blood pressure lowering medication 47.0% reached the target of <140/90 mm Hg (<140/85 mm Hg in people with diabetes). Among treated dyslipidaemic patients only 46.9% attained low density lipoprotein-cholesterol target of <2.6 mmol/l. Among people treated for type 2 diabetes mellitus, 65.2% achieved the HbA1c target of <7.0%.

Conclusion: The primary care arm of the EUROASPIRE V survey revealed that large proportions of people at high cardiovascular disease risk have unhealthy lifestyles and inadequate control of blood pressure, lipids and diabetes. Thus, the potential to reduce the risk of future cardiovascular disease throughout Europe by improved preventive cardiology programmes is substantial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487320908698DOI Listing
May 2021

Comment to: Prediction of recurrent event in patients with coronary heart disease: the EUROASPIRE risk model-authors' reply.

Authors:
Dirk De Bacquer

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2021 Apr 22. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, C. Heymanslaan 10 (4K3), 9000 Gent, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwab027DOI Listing
April 2021

Antihypertensive treatment in a general uncontrolled hypertensive population in Belgium and Luxembourg in primary care: Therapeutic inertia and treatment simplification. The SIMPLIFY study.

PLoS One 2021 5;16(4):e0248471. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Background: Despite effective treatments, blood pressure (BP) control remains suboptimal.

Objective: The SIMPLIFY study aimed at identifying key factors related to therapeutic inertia in Belgium and Luxembourg, and evaluating how uncontrolled treated hypertension is managed in primary care.

Methods: In a 2017 cross-sectional survey, 245 general practitioners (GP) collected routine clinical data from 1,852 consecutive uncontrolled (Office SBP/DBP ≥ 140/90 mmHg) hypertensive adult patients taking at least one antihypertensive drug.

Results: Patients were 64 years old on average, 48% were women, 61% had dyslipidemia, 33% had diabetes mellitus and 22% had established cardiovascular disease. Half of the patients had 2 or more comorbidities. Patients had been treated for hypertension for an average period of 8 years, 40% of patients were in hypertensive stages 2-3, 44% were treated with monotherapy only, 28% with free combinations and 28% with at least one single pill combination (SPC). Therapeutic adherence was rated as 'good' in 62% of patients. AHT treatment was modified in 84% of patients. In the group of patients with stage 2-3 hypertension, treatment remained unchanged in 5%. In the group of patients with stage 1 hypertension, treatment remained unchanged in 23% of patients. Patients treated for longer than 10 years were less likely to undergo treatment change (81%) compared to patients treated for less than 10 years (87%). Patients with 1 or 2 comorbidities were more likely to have their treatment modified (87%) compared to those with no comorbidities (61%) and those with ≥ 3 comorbidities (79%). If treatment was modified, a SPC was introduced in 90% of cases; 91% in stage 1-2 hypertension and 84% in stage 3 hypertension. SPCs were less frequently initiated in patients without comorbidities. Main reasons for the GPs to switch from a free association towards SPC were 'better BP control' (55%), 'better therapeutic compliance' (53%) and 'simplicity for the patient' (50%).

Conclusion: The SIMPLIFY study confirms therapeutic inertia in hypertension management. After an average of 8 years hypertension treatment, almost 1 in 2 uncontrolled treated patients are on monotherapy. The key inertia drivers seem to be age, mild grade hypertension, isolated systolic hypertension, longer duration of antihypertensive treatment and better therapeutic adherence. When treatment is updated by the GP, the currently preferred strategy is switching towards SPC based therapy to improve BP control, and enhance therapeutic compliance by simplifying treatment for the patient.

Trial Registration: pharma.be visa number: VI 17/01/20/01 ISRCTN registered study: ISRCTN16199080.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248471PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8021160PMC
September 2021

Safety and Efficacy of Vitamin K Antagonists versus Rivaroxaban in Hemodialysis Patients with Atrial Fibrillation: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 06 22;32(6):1474-1483. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Background: In patients with normal renal function or early stage CKD, the risk-benefit profile of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) is superior to that of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs). In patients on hemodialysis, the comparative efficacy and safety of DOACs versus VKAs are unknown.

Methods: In the Valkyrie study, 132 patients on hemodialysis with atrial fibrillation were randomized to a VKA with a target INR of 2-3, 10 mg rivaroxaban daily, or rivaroxaban and vitamin K2 for 18 months. Patients continued the originally assigned treatment and follow-up was extended for at least an additional 18 months. The primary efficacy end point was a composite of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events. Secondary efficacy end points were individual components of the composite outcome and all-cause death. Safety end points were life-threatening, major, and minor bleeding.

Results: Median (IQR) follow-up was 1.88 (1.01-3.38) years. Premature, permanent discontinuation of anticoagulation occurred in 25% of patients. The primary end point occurred at a rate of 63.8 per 100 person-years in the VKA group, 26.2 per 100 person-years in the rivaroxaban group, and 21.4 per 100 person-years in the rivaroxaban and vitamin K2 group. The estimated competing risk-adjusted hazard ratio for the primary end point was 0.41 (95% CI, 0.25 to 0.68; =0.0006) in the rivaroxaban group and 0.34 (95% CI, 0.19 to 0.61; =0.0003) in the rivaroxaban and vitamin K2 group, compared with the VKA group. Death from any cause, cardiac death, and risk of stroke were not different between the treatment arms, but symptomatic limb ischemia occurred significantly less frequently with rivaroxaban than with VKA. After adjustment for competing risk of death, the hazard ratio for life-threatening and major bleeding compared with the VKA group was 0.39 (95% CI, 0.17 to 0.90; =0.03) in the rivaroxaban group, 0.48 (95% CI, 0.22 to 1.08; =0.08) in the rivaroxaban and vitamin K2 group and 0.44 (95% CI, 0.23 to 0.85; =0.02) in the pooled rivaroxaban groups.

Conclusions: In patients on hemodialysis with atrial fibrillation, a reduced dose of rivaroxaban significantly decreased the composite outcome of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events and major bleeding complications compared with VKA.

Clinical Trial Registry Name And Registration Number: Oral Anticoagulation in Hemodialysis, NCT03799822.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2020111566DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8259651PMC
June 2021

Smoking cessation in patients with established coronary artery disease: data from the POLASPIRE survey.

Kardiol Pol 2021 04 2;79(4):418-425. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Population Studies, Institute of Public Health, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland

Background: Smoking cessation in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) is related to decreased risk of cardiovascular events.

Aims: To evaluate factors related to persistent smoking in patients with established coronary artery disease.

Methods: Patients aged 80 years or younger and hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome or a myocardial revascularization procedure were interviewed 6 to 18 months after the recruiting event. Medical history, smoking behavior, and exposure to environmental smoke were assessed during the interview. Self--reported smoking status was validated by carbon monoxide in exhaled air measurement. Persistent smoking was defined as smoking at the time of interview among those who smoked during the month prior to the recruiting event.

Results: We analyzed the data of 1034 patients, including 764 (73.9%) who reported smoking at any time in the past and 296 (28.6%) who smoked within 1 month before the recruiting hospitalization. At the time of the interview, the overall smoking rate was 17.2%, whereas 54.7% of patients were persistent smokers. Secondhand smoke exposure and duration of smoking were associated with lower likelihood whereas older age, high socioeconomic status, cardiac rehabilitation following a cardiovascular event, and consultation with a cardiologist were associated with higher likelihood of smoking cessation.

Conclusions: Over half of all smokers hospitalized for CAD are still smoking 6 to 18 months after discharge. Older age, secondhand smoking, low socioeconomic status, lack of consultation with a cardiologist, and cardiac rehabilitation following hospitalization were related to persistent smoking. Our findings may help develop strategies aimed at assisting smoking cessation in patients with CAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.33963/KP.15854DOI Listing
April 2021

Gender gap in risk factor control of coronary patients far from closing: results from the European Society of Cardiology EUROASPIRE V registry.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2020 Dec 24. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.

Aims: This study aims to provide an overview on contemporary gender differences in the risk factor control of coronary heart disease (CHD) patients.

Methods And Results: Analyses were based on the cross-sectional ESC (European Society of Cardiology) EORP (EurObservational Research Programme) EUROASPIRE V (European Survey of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Diabetes) survey including data on CHD patients across 27 European countries. Men and women between 18 and 80 years old, hospitalized for a first or recurrent coronary event were included in the study. Data were available for 8261 patients of which 25.8% women. Overall, women had a worse risk factor control compared with men. Whereas women were more likely to be non-smokers (79.3% vs. 87.2%; P < 0.001), they were less likely to reach recommended levels of physical activity (36.8% vs. 27.5%; P < 0.001), and they were less likely to be non-obese (65.1% vs. 54.3%; P < 0.001). There is indication that risk factors such as smoking behaviour and obesity differed depending on country income level. No gender differences could be observed in blood pressure on target (P > 0.05). Moreover, a lower proportion of women reached low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) target levels (31.4% vs. 22.1%; P < 0.001), and they were less likely to reach glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) targets if having self-reported diabetes (56.7% vs. 48.6%; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The risk factor control of CHD women is substantial worse compared with men despite little gender differences in cardiovascular medication intake. Further actions are needed to increase the awareness of the worse risk factor control in female CHD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa144DOI Listing
December 2020

Prediction of recurrent event in patients with coronary heart disease: the EUROASPIRE Risk Model.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2020 Dec 29. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Gent, Belgium.

Aims: Most patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) are at very high risk for developing recurrent events. Since this risk varies a lot between patients there is a need to identify those in whom an even more intensive secondary prevention strategy should be envisaged. Using data from the EUROASPIRE IV and V cohorts of coronary heart disease (CHD) patients from 27 European countries, we aimed at developing and internally and externally validating a risk model predicting recurrent CVD events in patients aged < 75 years.

Methods And Results: Prospective data were available for 12 484 patients after a median follow-up time of 1.7 years. The primary endpoint, a composite of fatal CVD or new hospitalizations for non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft, or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), occurred in 1424 patients. The model was developed based on data from 8000 randomly selected patients in whom the association between potential risk factors and the incidence of the primary endpoint was investigated. This model was then validated in the remaining 4484 patients. The final multivariate model revealed a higher risk for the primary endpoint with increasing age, a previous hospitalization for stroke, heart failure or PCI, a previous diagnosis of peripheral artery disease, self-reported diabetes and its glycaemic control, higher non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, reduced renal function, symptoms of depression and anxiety and living in a higher risk country. The model demonstrated excellent internal validity and proved very adequate in the validation cohort. Regarding external validity, the model demonstrated good discriminative ability in 20 148 MI patients participating in the SWEDEHEART register. Finally, we developed a risk calculator to estimate risks at 1 and 2 years for patients with stable CHD.

Conclusion: In patients with CHD, fatal and non-fatal rates of recurrent CVD events are high. However, there are still opportunities to optimize their management in order to prevent further disease or death. The EUROASPIRE Risk Calculator may be of help to reach this goal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa128DOI Listing
December 2020

Gender differences in screening for glucose perturbations, cardiovascular risk factor management and prognosis in patients with dysglycaemia and coronary artery disease: results from the ESC-EORP EUROASPIRE surveys.

Cardiovasc Diabetol 2021 02 11;20(1):38. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Cardiology Unit, Department of Medicine K2, Karolinska Institutet, Solnavägen 1, 17177, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Gender disparities in the management of dysglycaemia, defined as either impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or type 2 diabetes (T2DM), in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients are a medical challenge. Recent data from two nationwide cohorts of patients suggested no gender difference as regards the risk for diabetes-related CV complications but indicated the presence of a gender disparity in risk factor management. The aim of this study was to investigate gender differences in screening for dysglycaemia, cardiovascular risk factor management and prognosis in dysglycemic CAD patients.

Methods: The study population (n = 16,259; 4077 women) included 7998 patients from the ESC-EORP EUROASPIRE IV (EAIV: 2012-2013, 79 centres in 24 countries) and 8261 patients from the ESC-EORP EUROASPIRE V (EAV: 2016-2017, 131 centres in 27 countries) cross-sectional surveys. In each centre, patients were investigated with standardised methods by centrally trained staff and those without known diabetes were offered an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The first of CV death or hospitalisation for non-fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure or revascularization served as endpoint. Median follow-up time was 1.7 years. The association between gender and time to the occurrence of the endpoint was evaluated using Cox survival modelling, adjusting for age.

Results: Known diabetes was more common among women (32.9%) than men (28.4%, p < 0.0001). OGTT (n = 8655) disclosed IGT in 17.2% of women vs. 15.1% of men (p = 0.004) and diabetes in 13.4% of women vs. 14.6% of men (p = 0.078). In both known diabetes and newly detected dysglycaemia groups, women were older, with higher proportions of hypertension, dyslipidaemia and obesity. HbA1c was higher in women with known diabetes. Recommended targets of physical activity, blood pressure and cholesterol were achieved by significantly lower proportions of women than men. Women with known diabetes had higher risk for the endpoint than men (age-adjusted HR 1.22; 95% CI 1.04-1.43).

Conclusions: Guideline-recommended risk factor control is poorer in dysglycemic women than men. This may contribute to the worse prognosis in CAD women with known diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12933-021-01233-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7879645PMC
February 2021

Association of fatal myocardial infarction with past level of physical activity: a pooled analysis of cohort studies.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Cardiology, Bispebjerg Frederiksberg University Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, Building 67, 1st floor, DK-2400 Copenhagen, Denmark.

Aims: To assess the association between past level of physical activity (PA) and risk for death during the acute phase of myocardial infarction (MI) in a pooled analysis of cohort studies.

Methods And Results: European cohorts including participants with a baseline assessment of PA, conventional cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, and available follow-up on MI and death were eligible. Patients with an incident MI were included. Leisure-time PA was grouped as sedentary (<7 MET-hours), low (7-16 MET-hours), moderate (16.1-32 MET-hours), or high (>32 MET-hours) based on calculated net weekly energy expenditure. The main outcome measures were instant and 28-day case fatality of MI. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using multivariate random-effects models. Adjustments for age, sex, CV risk factors, alcohol consumption, and socioeconomic status were made. From 10 cohorts including a total of 1 495 254 participants, 28 140 patients with an incident MI comprised the study population. A total of 4976 (17.7%) died within 28 days-of these 3101 (62.3%) were classified as instant fatal MI. Compared with sedentary individuals, those with a higher level of PA had lower adjusted odds of instant fatal MI: low PA [OR, 0.79 (95% CI, 0.60-1.04)], moderate PA [0.67 (0.51-0.89)], and high PA [0.55 (0.40-0.76)]. Similar results were found for 28-day fatal MI: low PA [0.85 (0.71-1.03)], moderate PA [0.64 (0.51-0.80)], and high PA [0.72 (0.51-1.00)]. A low-to-moderate degree of heterogeneity was detected in the analysis of instant fatal MI (I2 = 47.3%), but not in that of 28-day fatal MI (I2 = 0.0%).

Conclusion: A moderate-to-high level of PA was associated with a lower risk of instant and 28-day death in relation to a MI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa146DOI Listing
February 2021

Protocol of the STRess at Work (STRAW) Project: How to Disentangle Day-to-Day Occupational Stress among Academics Based on EMA, Physiological Data, and Smartphone Sensor and Usage Data.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 11 27;17(23). Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.

Several studies have reported on increasing psychosocial stress in academia due to work environment risk factors like job insecurity, work-family conflict, research grant applications, and high workload. The STRAW project adds novel aspects to occupational stress research among academic staff by measuring day-to-day stress in their real-world work environments over 15 working days. Work environment risk factors, stress outcomes, health-related behaviors, and work activities were measured repeatedly via an ecological momentary assessment (EMA), specially developed for this project. These results were combined with continuously tracked physiological stress responses using wearable devices and smartphone sensor and usage data. These data provide information on workplace context using our self-developed Android smartphone app. The data were analyzed using two approaches: 1) multilevel statistical modelling for repeated data to analyze relations between work environment risk factors and stress outcomes on a within- and between-person level, based on EMA results and a baseline screening, and 2) machine-learning focusing on building prediction models to develop and evaluate acute stress detection models, based on physiological data and smartphone sensor and usage data. Linking these data collection and analysis approaches enabled us to disentangle and model sources, outcomes, and contexts of occupational stress in academia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238835DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7730921PMC
November 2020

Sexual counselling in patients with heart failure: Perceptions and current practice by healthcare providers in Flanders.

Int J Clin Pract 2021 May 10;75(5):e14063. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Background: Although heart failure (HF) patients often consider sexual activity as an essential aspect of their quality of life (QoL) and are usually uncertain if it is safe to perform sexual activity, this topic is overall poorly addressed in clinical practice.

Aims: The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions and practices of Flemish caregivers.

Methods: Healthcare providers were recruited through convenience sampling and filled in an adapted version of the UNITE Sexual Counselling Instrument. Several relevant network structures in Flanders were used to distribute the questionnaires-online as well as on paper-to healthcare workers being involved in the care to HF patients.

Results: Results of 180 participants indicated that 51.5% of the healthcare providers have never provided sexual counselling in HF patients. Being male, having a masters' degree, having more than 10 years of experience in cardiovascular disease, working in an ambulatory care department and having more positive attitudes were independently associated with a higher provision of sexual counselling in practice.

Conclusion: Although healthcare providers perceive it as their responsibility to discuss patients' sexual concerns, these issues are not often addressed in daily practice. Increasing knowledge in healthcare providers and specific practical training in providing information on sexual activity in HF patients are recommended. Further studies are needed to investigate how sexual counselling can be provided in agreement with HF patients' expectations and needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijcp.14063DOI Listing
May 2021

Obesity in patients with established coronary artery disease over a 20-year period (1997-2017).

Pol Arch Intern Med 2021 01 8;131(1):26-32. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Background: Body mass reduction in overweight and obese people so as to reduce blood pressure, low‑density lipoprotein cholesterol level, and the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as to lower the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events is strongly recommended in current guidelines.

Objectives: To evaluate changes in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in patients with established coronary artery disease over a 20‑year period (1997-2017).

Patients And Methods: Consecutive patients younger than 71 years of age and hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome or myocardial revascularization procedures were recruited and interviewed 6 to 18 months after their discharge from hospital. Weight, height, and waist circumference were measured in 1997 to 1998, 1999 to 2000, 2006 to 2007, 2011 to 2013, and 2016 to 2017. The same 5 hospitals took part in the surveys each time.

Results: We examined 412 patients in 1997 to 1998 (survey 1), 427 in 1999 to 2000 (survey 2), 422 in 2006 to 2007 (survey 3), 462 in 2011 to 2013 (survey 4), and 272 in 2016 to 2017 (survey 5). The proportion of obese patients was 24.5% in survey 1, 27.2% in survey 2, 34.1% in survey 3, 35.9% in survey 4, and 40.4% in survey 5 (P <0.001). The proportion of patients with central obesity also increased significantly (32.5% in survey 1, 40.5% in survey 2, 51.4% in survey 3, 48.6% in survey 4, and 61.3% in survey 5; P <0.001). BMI increased significantly in men, but not in women, whereas the mean waist circumference increased in both sexes. BMI and waist circumference increased irrespective of age and education.

Conclusions: The analysis of 5 multicenter surveys showed a gradual increase in BMI and waist circumference in patients with established coronary artery disease over the course of 2 decades.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20452/pamw.15742DOI Listing
January 2021

Free p-cresyl sulfate shows the highest association with cardiovascular outcome in chronic kidney disease.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2021 05;36(6):998-1005

Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Nephrology Section, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Background: Several protein-bound uraemic toxins (PBUTs) have been associated with cardiovascular (CV) and all-cause mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD) but the degree to which this is the case per individual PBUT and the pathophysiological mechanism have only partially been unraveled.

Methods: We compared the prognostic value of both total and free concentrations of five PBUTs [p-cresyl sulfate (pCS), p-cresyl glucuronide, indoxyl sulfate, indole acetic acid and hippuric acid] in a cohort of 523 patients with non-dialysis CKD Stages G1-G5. Patients were followed prospectively for the occurrence of a fatal or non-fatal CV event as the primary endpoint and a number of other major complications as secondary endpoints. In addition, association with and the prognostic value of nine markers of endothelial activation/damage was compared.

Results: After a median follow-up of 5.5 years, 149 patients developed the primary endpoint. In multivariate Cox regression models adjusted for age, sex, systolic blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and estimated glomerular filtration rate, and corrected for multiple testing, only free pCS was associated with the primary endpoint {hazard ratio [HR]1.39 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14-1.71]; P = 0.0014}. Free pCS also correlated with a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13 (r = -0.114, P < 0.05), angiopoietin-2 (ANGPT2) (r = 0.194, P < 0.001), matrix metallopeptidase 7 (MMP-7; (r = 0.238, P < 0.001) and syndecan 1 (r = 0.235, P < 0.001). Of these markers of endothelial activation/damage, ANGPT2 [HR 1.46 (95% CI 1.25-1.70); P < 0.0001] and MMP-7 [HR 1.31 (95% CI 1.08-1.59); P = 0.0056] were also predictive of the primary outcome.

Conclusions: Among PBUTs, free pCS shows the highest association with CV outcome in non-dialysed patients with CKD. Two markers of endothelial activation/damage that were significantly correlated with free pCS, ANGPT2 and MMP-7 were also associated with CV outcome. The hypothesis that free pCS exerts its CV toxic effects by an adverse effect on endothelial function deserves further exploration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfab004DOI Listing
May 2021

The effect of exposure to long working hours on alcohol consumption, risky drinking and alcohol use disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis from the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury.

Environ Int 2021 01 12;146:106205. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Centre for Environment and Health of KU Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 35/5, box 7001, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; KIR Department (Knowledge, Information & Research), IDEWE, External Service for Prevention and Protection at Work, Interleuvenlaan 58, 3001 Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address:

Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are developing Joint Estimates of the work-related burden of disease and injury (WHO/ILO Joint Estimates), with contributions from a large network of experts. Evidence from mechanistic data suggests that exposure to long working hours may increase alcohol consumption and cause alcohol use disorder. In this paper, we present a systematic review and meta-analysis of parameters for estimating the number of deaths and disability-adjusted life years from alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorder that are attributable to exposure to long working hours, for the development of the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates.

Objectives: We aimed to systematically review and meta-analyse estimates of the effect of exposure to long working hours (three categories: 41-48, 49-54 and ≥55 h/week), compared with exposure to standard working hours (35-40 h/week), on alcohol consumption, risky drinking (three outcomes: prevalence, incidence and mortality) and alcohol use disorder (three outcomes: prevalence, incidence and mortality).

Data Sources: We developed and published a protocol, applying the Navigation Guide as an organizing systematic review framework where feasible. We searched electronic bibliographic databases for potentially relevant records from published and unpublished studies, including the WHO International Clinical Trials Register, Ovid MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, and CISDOC on 30 June 2018. Searches on PubMed were updated on 18 April 2020. We also searched electronic grey literature databases, Internet search engines and organizational websites; hand-searched reference list of previous systematic reviews and included study records; and consulted additional experts.

Study Eligibility And Criteria: We included working-age (≥15 years) workers in the formal and informal economy in any WHO and/or ILO Member State but excluded children (<15 years) and unpaid domestic workers. We considered for inclusion randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case-control studies and other non-randomized intervention studies with an estimate of the effect of exposure to long working hours (41-48, 49-54 and ≥55 h/week), compared with exposure to standard working hours (35-40 h/week), on alcohol consumption (in g/week), risky drinking, and alcohol use disorder (prevalence, incidence or mortality).

Study Appraisal And Synthesis Methods: At least two review authors independently screened titles and abstracts against the eligibility criteria at a first stage and full texts of potentially eligible records at a second stage, followed by extraction of data from publications related to qualifying studies. Two or more review authors assessed the risk of bias, quality of evidence and strength of evidence, using Navigation Guide and GRADE tools and approaches adapted to this project.

Results: Fourteen cohort studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising a total of 104,599 participants (52,107 females) in six countries of three WHO regions (Americas, South-East Asia, and Europe). The exposure and outcome were assessed with self-reported measures in most studies. Across included studies, risk of bias was generally probably high, with risk judged high or probably high for detection bias and missing data for alcohol consumption and risky drinking. Compared to working 35-40 h/week, exposure to working 41-48 h/week increased alcohol consumption by 10.4 g/week (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.59-15.20; seven studies; 25,904 participants, I 71%, low quality evidence). Exposure to working 49-54 h/week increased alcohol consumption by 17.69 g/week (95% confidence interval (CI) 9.16-26.22; seven studies, 19,158 participants, I 82%, low quality evidence). Exposure to working ≥55 h/week increased alcohol consumption by 16.29 g/week (95% confidence interval (CI) 7.93-24.65; seven studies; 19,692 participants; I 82%, low quality evidence). We are uncertain about the effect of exposure to working 41-48 h/week, compared with working 35-40 h/week on developing risky drinking (relative risk 1.08; 95% CI 0.86-1.36; 12 studies; I 52%, low certainty evidence). Working 49-54 h/week did not increase the risk of developing risky drinking (relative risk 1.12; 95% CI 0.90-1.39; 12 studies; 3832 participants; I 24%, moderate certainty evidence), nor working ≥55 h/week (relative risk 1.11; 95% CI 0.95-1.30; 12 studies; 4525 participants; I 0%, moderate certainty evidence). Subgroup analyses indicated that age may influence the association between long working hours and both alcohol consumption and risky drinking. We did not identify studies for which we had access to results on alcohol use disorder.

Conclusions: Overall, for alcohol consumption in g/week and for risky drinking, we judged this body of evidence to be of low certainty. Exposure to long working hours may have increased alcohol consumption, but we are uncertain about the effect on risky drinking. We found no eligible studies on the effect on alcohol use disorder. Producing estimates for the burden of alcohol use disorder attributable to exposure to long working hours appears to not be evidence-based at this time. PROTOCOL IDENTIFIER: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2018.07.025.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42018084077.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106205DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7786792PMC
January 2021

Incidence, Characteristics, and Outcome of COVID-19 in Adults on Kidney Replacement Therapy: A Regionwide Registry Study.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 02 5;32(2):385-396. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Division of Nephrology and Infectious Diseases, AZ Sint-Jan Brugge, Brugge, Belgium

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection disproportionally affects frail, elderly patients and those with multiple chronic comorbidities. Whether patients on RRT have an additional risk because of their specific exposure and complex immune dysregulation is controversial.

Methods: To describe the incidence, characteristics, and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection, we conducted a prospective, multicenter, region-wide registry study in adult patients on RRT versus the general population from March 2 to May 25, 2020. This study comprised all patients undergoing RRT in the Flanders region of Belgium, a country that has been severely affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Results: At the end of the epidemic wave, crude and age-standardized cumulative incidence rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection were 5.3% versus 2.5%, respectively, among 4297 patients on hemodialysis, and 1.4% versus 1.6%, respectively, among 3293 patients with kidney transplants (compared with 0.6% in the general population). Crude and age-standardized cumulative mortality rates were 29.6% versus 19.9%, respectively, among patients on hemodialysis, and 14.0% versus 23.0%, respectively, among patients with transplants (compared with 15.3% in the general population). We found no excess mortality in the hemodialysis population when compared with mean mortality rates during the same 12-week period in 2015-2019 because COVID-19 mortality was balanced by lower than expected mortality among uninfected patients. Only 0.18% of the kidney transplant population died of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Conclusions: Mortality associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection is high in patients on RRT. Nevertheless, the epidemic's overall effect on the RRT population remained remarkably limited in Flanders. Calculation of excess mortality and age standardization provide a more reliable picture of the mortality burden of COVID-19 among patients on RRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2020060875DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8054894PMC
February 2021

The Relation between Domain-Specific Physical Behaviour and Cardiorespiratory Fitness: A Cross-Sectional Compositional Data Analysis on the Physical Activity Health Paradox Using Accelerometer-Assessed Data.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 10 29;17(21). Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.

In contrast to leisure time physical activity (LTPA), occupational physical activity (OPA) does not have similar beneficial health effects. These differential health effects might be explained by dissimilar effects of LTPA and OPA on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). This study investigated cross-sectional associations between different physical behaviours during both work and leisure time and CRF by using a Compositional Data Analysis approach. Physical behaviours were assessed by two accelerometers among 309 workers with various manual jobs. During work time, more sedentary behaviour (SB) was associated with higher CRF when compared relatively to time spent on other work behaviours, while more SB during leisure time was associated with lower CRF when compared to other leisure time behaviours. Reallocating more time to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) from the other behaviours within leisure time was positively associated with CRF, which was not the case for MVPA during work. The results of our study are in line with the physical activity health paradox and we call for further study on the interaction between LTPA and OPA by implementing device-worn measures in a longitudinal design. Our results highlight the need for recommendations to take into account the different effects of OPA and LTPA on CRF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217929DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7662405PMC
October 2020

Medical Treatment in Coronary Patients: Is there Still a Gender Gap? Results from European Society of Cardiology EUROASPIRE V Registry.

Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 2021 Aug 17;35(4):801-808. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.

Purpose: This study is aimed at investigating gender differences in the medical management of patients with coronary heart disease (CHD).

Methods: Analyses were based on the ESC EORP EUROASPIRE V (European Survey Of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention And Diabetes) survey. Consecutive patients between 18 and 80 years, hospitalized for a coronary event, were included in the study. Information on cardiovascular medication intake at hospital discharge and at follow-up (≥ 6 months to < 2 years after hospitalization) was collected.

Results: Data was available for 8261 patients (25.8% women). Overall, no gender differences were observed in the prescription and use of cardioprotective medication like aspirin, beta-blockers, and ACE-I/ARBs (P > 0.01) at discharge and follow-up respectively. However, a statistically significant difference was found in the use of statins at follow-up, in disfavor of women (82.8% vs. 77.7%; P < 0.001). In contrast, at follow-up, women were more likely to use diuretics (31.5% vs. 39.5%; P < 0.001) and calcium channel blockers (21.2% vs. 28.8%; P < 0.001), whereas men were more likely to use anticoagulants (8.8% vs. 7.0%; P < 0.001). Overall, no gender differences were found in total daily dose intake (P > 0.01). Furthermore, women were less likely than men to have received a CABG (20.4% vs. 13.2%; P < 0.001) or PCI (82.1% vs. 74.9%; P < 0.001) at follow-up. No gender differences were observed in prescribed (P = 0.10) and attended (P = 0.63) cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Conclusion: The EUROASPIRE V results show only limited gender differences in the medical management of CHD patients. Current findings suggest growing awareness about risk in female CHD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10557-020-07095-6DOI Listing
August 2021

Socioeconomic characteristics of patients with coronary heart disease in relation to their cardiovascular risk profile.

Heart 2021 May 16;107(10):799-806. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Objective: People's socioeconomic status (SES) has a major impact on the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in primary prevention. In patients with existing ASCVD these associations are less documented. Here, we evaluate to what extent SES is still associated with patients' risk profile in secondary prevention.

Methods: Based on results from a large sample of patients with coronary heart disease from the European Action on Secondary and Primary Prevention through Intervention to Reduce Events study, the relationship between SES and cardiovascular risk was examined. A SES summary score was empirically constructed from the patients' educational level, self-perceived income, living situation and perception of loneliness.

Results: Analyses are based on observations in 8261 patients with coronary heart disease from 27 countries. Multivariate logistic regression analyses demonstrate that a low SES is associated (OR, 95% CI) with lifestyles such as smoking in men (1.63, 1.37 to 1.95), physical activity in men (1.51, 1.28 to 1.78) and women (1.77, 1.32 to 2.37) and obesity in men 1.28 (1.11 to 1.49) and women 1.65 (1.30 to 2.10). Patients with a low SES have more raised blood pressure in men (1.24, 1.07 to 1.43) and women (1.31, 1.03 to 1.67), used less statins and were less adherent to them. Cardiac rehabilitation programmes were less advised and attended by patients with a low SES. Access to statins in middle-income countries was suboptimal leaving about 80% of patients not reaching the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol target of <1.8 mmol/L. Patients' socioeconomic level was also strongly associated with markers of well-being.

Conclusion: These results illustrate the complexity of the associations between SES, well-being and secondary prevention in patients with ASCVD. They emphasise the need for integrating innovative policies in programmes of cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2020-317549DOI Listing
May 2021

Alcohol consumption patterns across Europe and adherence to the European guidelines in coronary patients: Findings from the ESC-EORP EUROASPIRE V survey.

Atherosclerosis 2020 11 17;313:35-42. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Julius Global Health, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Amsterdam University Medical Center, Location VUmc, Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences Research Institute, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Background And Aims: Alcohol consumption is an important risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide. The highest levels of alcohol consumption are observed in Europe, where alcohol as contributing cause of coronary heart disease (CHD) is also most significant. We aimed to describe alcohol consumption patterns across European regions and adherence to the current guidelines in patients with a recent CHD event.

Methods: The ESC-EORP survey (EUROASPIRE V) has been conducted in 2016-2017 at 131 centers in 27 European countries in 7350 patients with a recent CHD. Median alcohol consumption, as well as the proportion of abstainers and excessive drinkers (i.e. >70 g/week for women and >140 for men, as recommended by the European guidelines on cardiovascular prevention), was calculated for each region. To assess adherence to guidelines, proportions of participants who were advised to reduce excessive alcohol consumption and participants who were incorrectly not advised were calculated per region.

Results: Mean age was 64 years (SD: 9.5), 75% were male. Abstention rates were 53% in males and 77% in females, whereas excessive drinking was reported by 9% and 5% of them, respectively. Overall, 57% of the participants were advised to reduce alcohol consumption. In the total population, 3% were incorrectly not advised, however, this percentage differed per region (range: 1%-9%). In regions where alcohol consumption was highest, participants were less often advised to reduce their consumption.

Conclusion: In this EUROASPIRE V survey, the majority of CHD patients adhere to the current drinking guidelines, but substantial heterogeneity exists between European regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2020.09.009DOI Listing
November 2020

Peripheral arterial disease and intermittent claudication in coronary heart disease patients.

Int J Cardiol 2021 01 9;322:227-232. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, Belgium. Electronic address:

Background And Aim: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is associated with an increased risk of fatal and non-fatal coronary heart disease (CHD). The aims of the this study were 1) to investigate the prevalence of PAD and suspected PAD in a large population of established CHD patients, and 2) to assess the prevalence and control of risk factors in these patients as well health-related quality of life.

Material And Methods: In the EUROASPIRE V survey, 8243 patients with documented CHD were recruited from 27 ESC member countries and were invited to attend a study visit. Patients were investigated using questionnaires, in-depth interviews and a clinical examination. Intermittent claudication (IC) was assessed using the Edinburgh Claudication Questionnaire. Patients without previously diagnosed PAD were suspected of having PAD if they were found to have IC.

Results: Overall, 6.4% of the patients had already a confirmed diagnosis of PAD and another 6.3% were suspected of having PAD. Independent of age and gender, patients with previously diagnosed PAD were significantly more frequently current smokers, had the lowest smoking cessation rates, were less physically active, reported more often previously diagnosed diabetes and had significantly higher blood pressure levels, compared to patients without PAD. They had also significantly higher levels of serum triglycerides, lower HDL-C levels, and had more often renal insufficiency. In comparison with patients without PAD, those with suspected PAD demonstrated significantly higher smoking cessation rates but their obesity rates were significantly higher. In CHD patients with a history of PAD, the use of calcium channel blockers and diuretics was significantly higher than in patients without PAD. Compared to the latter group, the use of diuretics, anti-arrhythmics and anti-depressants in patients with suspected PAD was significantly higher. Moreover, patients with previously diagnosed PAD had significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression and reported a significantly worse health-related quality of life (HRQoL), in comparison with those without PAD. HRQoL levels were significantly reduced in patients with suspected PAD as well.

Conclusion: In CHD patients without a previous diagnosis of PAD, IC is not infrequent. Diagnosed PAD was significantly associated with a worse CHD risk factor profile. Patients with known PAD as well as those with suspected PAD had a considerable loss of health-related quality of life. Therefore, physicians should consider to screen for IC in all their CHD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2020.09.004DOI Listing
January 2021
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