Publications by authors named "Guy De Backer"

223 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

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

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

Statin therapy in the elderly: less or more?

Authors:
Guy G De Backer

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2021 Mar 23. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa164DOI Listing
March 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

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

On the use of models to estimate the total risk of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Authors:
Guy G De Backer

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2020 02 13;28(2):201–203. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487320902747DOI Listing
February 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

Translating science into guidance on the management of dyslipidaemias.

Authors:
Guy G De Backer

Atherosclerosis 2020 12 5;315:145-147. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Dept of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, University Hospital, Corneel Heymanslaan, Ghent, B9000, Belgium. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2020.10.894DOI Listing
December 2020

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

Prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is possible but poorly put into practice.

Authors:
Guy G De Backer

Kardiol Pol 2020 05 25;78(5):383-385. Epub 2020 May 25.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.33963/KP.15382DOI Listing
May 2020

Secondary prevention of coronary artery disease in Poland. Results from the POLASPIRE survey.

Cardiol J 2020 21;27(5):533-540. Epub 2020 May 21.

I Department of Cardiology, Interventional Electrocardiology and Hypertension, Institute of Cardiology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland.

Background: The highest priority in preventive cardiology is given to patients with established coronary artery disease (CAD). The aim of the study was to assess the current implementation of the guidelines for secondary prevention in everyday clinical practice by evaluating control of the main risk factors and the cardioprotective medication prescription rates in patients following hospitalization for CAD.

Methods: Fourteen departments of cardiology participated in the study. Patients (aged ≤ 80 years) hospitalized due an acute coronary syndrome or for a myocardial revascularization procedure were recruited and interviewed 6-18 months after the hospitalization.

Results: Overall, 947 patients were examined 6-18 months after hospitalization. The proportion of patients with high blood pressure (≥ 140/90 mmHg) was 42%, with high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C ≥ 1.8 mmol/L) 62%, and with high fasting glucose (≥ 7.0 mmol/L) 22%, 17% of participants were smokers and 42% were obese. The proportion of patients taking an antiplatelet agent 6-18 months after hospitalization was 93%, beta-blocker 89%, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor or sartan 86%, and a lipid-lowering drug 90%. Only 2.3% patients had controlled all the five main risk factors well (non-smoking, blood pressure < 140/90 mmHg, LDL-C < 1.8 mmol/L and glucose < 7.0 mmol/L, body mass index < 25 kg/m2), while 17.9% had 1 out of 5, 40.9% had 2 out of 5, and 29% had 3 out of 5 risk factors uncontrolled.

Conclusions: The documented multicenter survey provides evidence that there is considerable potential for further reductions of cardiovascular risk in CAD patients in Poland. A revision of the state funded cardiac prevention programs seems rational.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5603/CJ.a2020.0072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078981PMC
August 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 2020 Mar 20:2047487320908698. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

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-sectional 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/m) 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
March 2020

Screening for Glucose Perturbations and Risk Factor Management in Dysglycemic Patients With Coronary Artery Disease-A Persistent Challenge in Need of Substantial Improvement: A Report From ESC EORP EUROASPIRE V.

Diabetes Care 2020 04 20;43(4):726-733. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

European Society of Cardiology, Sophia Antipolis, France.

Objective: Dysglycemia, in this survey defined as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or type 2 diabetes, is common in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and associated with an unfavorable prognosis. This European survey investigated dysglycemia screening and risk factor management of patients with CAD in relation to standards of European guidelines for cardiovascular subjects.

Research Design And Methods: The European Society of Cardiology's European Observational Research Programme (ESC EORP) European Action on Secondary and Primary Prevention by Intervention to Reduce Events (EUROASPIRE) V (2016-2017) included 8,261 CAD patients, aged 18-80 years, from 27 countries. If the glycemic state was unknown, patients underwent an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and measurement of glycated hemoglobin A. Lifestyle, risk factors, and pharmacological management were investigated.

Results: A total of 2,452 patients (29.7%) had known diabetes. OGTT was performed in 4,440 patients with unknown glycemic state, of whom 41.1% were dysglycemic. Without the OGTT, 30% of patients with type 2 diabetes and 70% of those with IGT would not have been detected. The presence of dysglycemia almost doubled from that self-reported to the true proportion after screening. Only approximately one-third of all coronary patients had completely normal glucose metabolism. Of patients with known diabetes, 31% had been advised to attend a diabetes clinic, and only 24% attended. Only 58% of dysglycemic patients were prescribed all cardioprotective drugs, and use of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (3%) or glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (1%) was small.

Conclusions: Urgent action is required for both screening and management of patients with CAD and dysglycemia, in the expectation of a substantial reduction in risk of further cardiovascular events and in complications of diabetes, as well as longer life expectancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc19-2165DOI Listing
April 2020

Evolving concepts on the management of dyslipidaemia.

Acta Clin Belg 2020 Feb 17;75(1):80-90. Epub 2019 Dec 17.

Gent Department of public health and primary care, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium.

It has been well established that low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and other apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins are causally related to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and that lowering these lipoproteins reduces the risk of ASCVD. By lowering LDL particles as much as possible, ASCVD can be prevented. There seems to be no LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) threshold below which no further ASCVD prevention can be achieved. Furthermore, a low (an even very low) LDL-C appears to be safe. The new ESC/EAS guidelines based on these concepts are a step towards a benefit-based strategy by focusing on the clinical benefit that can be achieved by treating the cause of ASCVD. It is recommended to lower LDL-C as much as possible to prevent ASCVD, especially in high and very high-risk patients. With these new recommendations come recognition of the importance of combination therapies in high and very high-risk patients, first with statins and ezetimibe, and if needed with a PCSK9 inhibitor. The present paper is a review of some new concepts arising during the past 10 years in the field of lipidology and the description of what is new in the 2019 EAS/ESC guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17843286.2019.1702823DOI Listing
February 2020

Chronic medication intake in patients with stable coronary heart disease across Europe: Evidence from the daily clinical practice. Results from the ESC EORP European Survey of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Diabetes (EUROASPIRE IV) Registry.

Int J Cardiol 2020 02 7;300:7-13. Epub 2019 Sep 7.

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

Background: As advised by the European guidelines on cardiovascular prevention, medication intake is a major component of secondary prevention. The aim of this study is to provide an in-depth overview of the medication intake in stable European coronary heart disease (CHD) patients.

Methods: Analyses are based on the EUROASPIRE IV survey, including CHD patients (18 to 80 years) who were hospitalized for a coronary event. These patients were interviewed and examined 6 months to 3 years after their hospitalization. Information on cardiovascular medication intake is available for 7953 patients.

Results: About 99.2% of patients were on any kind of cardiovascular medication and 67.6% of patients were taking at least 5 different cardiovascular drugs. Overall, even when patients are taking the recommended drug combination as advised by the European guidelines - accounting for their disease profile - a large proportion of patients is still not on blood pressure, LDL-C or HbA1c target. In addition, huge variations were seen in medication dose intake across countries. Comparing the dose intake to the defined daily dose (DDD as published by the WHO) indicated a substantial deviation from the DDDs for a large proportion of patients.

Conclusion: This study provides a unique overview of the cardiovascular medication intake in CHD patients. Overall, even when patients are taking the advised drug combination, a large proportion of patients is still not on risk factor target. Physicians should seek for a balance in medication intake and appropriate dose, accounting both for the benefits and risks of chronic drug intake.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2019.09.015DOI Listing
February 2020

EQ-5D in coronary patients: what are they suffering from? Results from the ESC EORP European Survey of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Diabetes (EUROASPIRE IV) Registry.

Qual Life Res 2020 Apr 18;29(4):1037-1046. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

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

Objective: Coronary patients often suffer from an impaired health, hence the aim of this study is to assess how coronary patients score on the different EQ-5D dimensions.

Methods: Analyses are based on the EUROASPIRE IV survey, conducted across 24 European countries. 7567 patients with stable coronary heart disease (mean age = 64.1 (SD = 9.6); males = 75.8%) completed the EQ-5D-5L instrument, 6 months to 3 years after their index hospitalization. Descriptive statistics and multilevel logistic regression was used to assess the differences between patient groups in reported problems on the EQ-5D dimensions. Furthermore, age-standardized country-specific outcomes were reported.

Results: About one out of four patients reported to have no problems on all five dimensions (57.9% reported no problems on mobility, 88.4% reported no problems on self-care, 67.1% reported no problems on usual activities, 41.1% reported no problems on pain/discomfort, and 56.2% reported no problems on anxiety/depression). Elderly patients and females reported more problems. Patients with behavioral risk factors and patients with comorbidities were more likely to have severe or extreme problems. Comparison across countries showed major differences in reported problems.

Conclusions: Whether or not coronary patients have problems on one or more EQ-5D dimension, as well as the severity of the problems reported is largely associated with the patient profile. The least problems are seen on the self-care dimension and most problems are reported on the pain/discomfort dimension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11136-019-02334-2DOI Listing
April 2020

Percentage low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol response to a given statin dose is not fixed across the pre-treatment range: Real world evidence from clinical practice: Data from the ESC-EORP EUROASPIRE V Study.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2020 10 9;27(15):1630-1636. Epub 2019 Sep 9.

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

Aims: Recent European guidelines recommend in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease to achieve a reduction of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol of at least 50% if the baseline low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol level is between 1.8 and 3.5 mmol/L. Systematic reviews have associated a given statin/dose combination with a fixed percentage low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol response. Algorithms for detecting cases and estimating the prevalence of familial hypercholesterolaemia often rely on such fixed percentage reductions.

Methods And Results: We used data from 915 coronary patients participating in the EUROASPIRE V study in whom atorvastatin or rosuvastatin therapy was initiated at hospital discharge and who were still using these drugs at the same dose at a follow-up visit 6 or more months later. Pre and on-treatment low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels were compared across the full low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol range. The prevalence of FH was estimated using the Dutch Lipid Clinic Network criteria, once using observed pre-treatment low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and once using imputed pre-treatment low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol by following the common strategy of applying fixed correction factors to on-treatment low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol. Inter-individual variation in the low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol response to a fixed statin and dose was considerable, with a strong inverse relation of percentage reductions to pre-treatment low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol. The percentage low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol response was markedly lower at the left end of the pre-treatment low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol range especially for levels less than 3 mmol/L. The estimated prevalence of familial hypercholesterolaemia was 2% if using observed pre-treatment low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and 10% when using imputed low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol.

Conclusion: The inter-individual variation in the percentage low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol response to a given dose of a statin is largely dependent on the pre-treatment level: the lower the pre-treatment low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol level the smaller the percentage low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol reduction. The use of uniform correction factors to estimate pre-treatment low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol is not justified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487319874898DOI Listing
October 2020

Management of dyslipidaemia in patients with coronary heart disease: Results from the ESC-EORP EUROASPIRE V survey in 27 countries.

Atherosclerosis 2019 06 24;285:135-146. Epub 2019 Apr 24.

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

Background And Aims: One of the objectives of the ESC-EORP EUROASPIRE V survey is to determine how well European guidelines on the management of dyslipidaemias are implemented in coronary patients.

Methods: Standardized methods were used by trained technicians to collect information on 7824 patients from 130 centers in 27 countries, from the medical records and at a visit at least 6 months after hospitalization for a coronary event. All lipid measurements were performed in one central laboratory. Patients were divided into three groups: on high-intensity LDL-C-lowering-drug therapy (LLT), on low or moderate-intensity LLT and on no LLT.

Results: At the time of the visit, almost half of the patients were on a high-intensity LLT. Between hospital discharge and the visit, LLT had been reduced in intensity or interrupted in 20.8% of the patients and had been started or increased in intensity in 11.7%. In those who had interrupted LLT or had reduced the intensity, intolerance to LLT and the advice of their physician were reported as the reason why in 15.8 and 36.8% of the cases, respectively. LDL-C control was better in those on a high-intensity LLT compared to those on low or moderate intensity LLT. LDL-C control was better in men than women and in patients with self-reported diabetes.

Conclusions: The results of the EUROASPIRE V survey show that most coronary patients have a less than optimal management of LDL-C. More professional strategies are needed, aiming at lifestyle changes and LLT adapted to the need of the individual patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2019.03.014DOI Listing
June 2019

Risk scoring in primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: Strengths and limitations.

Authors:
Guy G De Backer

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2019 09 3;26(14):1531-1533. Epub 2019 May 3.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487319847007DOI Listing
September 2019

Lifestyle and impact on cardiovascular risk factor control in coronary patients across 27 countries: Results from the European Society of Cardiology ESC-EORP EUROASPIRE V registry.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2019 05 10;26(8):824-835. Epub 2019 Feb 10.

32 Department of Cardiology, Interventional Electrocardiology and Hypertension, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland.

Aims: The aim of this study was to determine whether the Joint European Societies guidelines on secondary cardiovascular prevention are followed in everyday practice.

Design: A cross-sectional ESC-EORP survey (EUROASPIRE V) at 131 centres in 81 regions in 27 countries.

Methods: Patients (<80 years old) with verified coronary artery events or interventions were interviewed and examined ≥6 months later.

Results: A total of 8261 patients (females 26%) were interviewed. Nineteen per cent smoked and 55% of them were persistent smokers, 38% were obese (body mass index ≥30 kg/m), 59% were centrally obese (waist circumference: men ≥102 cm; women ≥88 cm) while 66% were physically active <30 min 5 times/week. Forty-two per cent had a blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg (≥140/85 if diabetic), 71% had low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ≥1.8 mmol/L (≥70 mg/dL) and 29% reported having diabetes. Cardioprotective medication was: anti-platelets 93%, beta-blockers 81%, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers 75% and statins 80%.

Conclusion: A large majority of coronary patients have unhealthy lifestyles in terms of smoking, diet and sedentary behaviour, which adversely impacts major cardiovascular risk factors. A majority did not achieve their blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and glucose targets. Cardiovascular prevention requires modern preventive cardiology programmes delivered by interdisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals addressing all aspects of lifestyle and risk factor management, in order to reduce the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487318825350DOI Listing
May 2019

Incidence of cardiovascular events in patients with stabilized coronary heart disease: the EUROASPIRE IV follow-up study.

Eur J Epidemiol 2019 Mar 23;34(3):247-258. Epub 2018 Oct 23.

Department of Epidemiology and Population Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kracow, Poland.

The EUROASPIRE surveys (EUROpean Action on Secondary Prevention through Intervention to Reduce Events) demonstrated that most European coronary patients fail to achieve lifestyle, risk factor and therapeutic targets. Here we report on the 2-year incidence of hard cardiovascular (CV) endpoints in the EUROASPIRE IV cohort. EUROASPIRE IV (2012-2013) was a large cross-sectional study undertaken at 78 centres from selected geographical areas in 24 European countries. Patients were interviewed and examined at least 6 months following hospitalization for a coronary event or procedure. Fatal and non-fatal CV events occurring at least 1 year after this baseline screening were registered. The primary outcome in our analyses was the incidence of CV death or non-fatal myocardial infarction, stroke or heart failure. Cox regression models, stratified for country, were fitted to relate baseline characteristics to outcome. Our analyses included 7471 predominantly male patients. Overall, 222 deaths were registered of whom 58% were cardiovascular. The incidence of the primary outcome was 42 per 1000 person-years. Comorbidities were strongly and significantly associated with the primary outcome (multivariately adjusted hazard ratio HR, 95% confidence interval): severe chronic kidney disease (HR 2.36, 1.44-3.85), uncontrolled diabetes (HR 1.89, 1.50-2.38), resting heart rate ≥ 75 bpm (HR 1.74, 1.30-2.32), history of stroke (HR 1.70, 1.27-2.29), peripheral artery disease (HR 1.48, 1.09-2.01), history of heart failure (HR 1.47, 1.08-2.01) and history of acute myocardial infarction (HR 1.27, 1.05-1.53). Low education and feelings of depression were significantly associated with increased risk. Lifestyle factors such as persistent smoking, insufficient physical activity and central obesity were not significantly related to adverse outcome. Blood pressure and LDL-C levels appeared to be unrelated to cardiovascular events irrespective of treatment. In patients with stabilized CHD, comorbid conditions that may reflect the ubiquitous nature of atherosclerosis, dominate lifestyle-related and other modifiable risk factors in terms of prognosis, at least over a 2-year follow-up period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-018-0454-0DOI Listing
March 2019

Cost-effectiveness of optimized adherence to prevention guidelines in European patients with coronary heart disease: Results from the EUROASPIRE IV survey.

Int J Cardiol 2018 Dec 28;272:20-25. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Background: This study aims to assess the cost-effectiveness of optimized guideline adherence in patients with a history of coronary heart disease.

Methods: An individual-based decision tree model was developed using the SMART risk score tool which estimates the 10-year risk for recurrent vascular events in patients with manifest cardiovascular disease (CVD). Analyses were based on the EUROASPIRE IV survey. Outcomes were expressed as an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER).

Results: Data from 4663 patients from 13 European countries were included in the analyses. The mean estimated 10-year risk for a recurrent vascular event decreased from 20.13% to 18.61% after optimized guideline adherence. Overall, an ICER of 52,968€/QALY was calculated. The ICER lowered to 29,093€/QALY when only considering high-risk patients (≥20%) with decreasing ICERs in higher risk patients. Also, a dose-response relationship was seen with lower ICERs in older patients and in those patients with higher risk reductions. A less stringent LDL target (<2.5 mmol/L vs. <1.8 mmol/L) lowered the ICER to 32,591€/QALY and intensifying cholesterol treatment in high-risk patients (≥20%) instead of high-cholesterol patients lowered the ICER to 28,064€/QALY. An alternative method, applying risk reductions to the CVD events instead of applying risk reductions to the risk factors lowered the ICER to 31,509€/QALY.

Conclusion: Depending on the method used better or worse ICERs were found. In addition, optimized guidelines adherence is more cost-effective in higher risk patients, in patients with higher risk reductions and when using a less strict LDL-C target. Current analyses advice to maximize guidelines adherence in particular patient subgroups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2018.06.104DOI Listing
December 2018

Adverse effects of statin therapy: perception vs. the evidence - focus on glucose homeostasis, cognitive, renal and hepatic function, haemorrhagic stroke and cataract.

Eur Heart J 2018 07;39(27):2526-2539

National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and University of Pierre and Marie Curie-Paris 6, Pitié Salpêtrière, Paris, France.

Aims: To objectively appraise evidence for possible adverse effects of long-term statin therapy on glucose homeostasis, cognitive, renal and hepatic function, and risk for haemorrhagic stroke or cataract.

Methods And Results: A literature search covering 2000-2017 was performed. The Panel critically appraised the data and agreed by consensus on the categorization of reported adverse effects. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and genetic studies show that statin therapy is associated with a modest increase in the risk of new-onset diabetes mellitus (about one per thousand patient-years), generally defined by laboratory findings (glycated haemoglobin ≥6.5); this risk is significantly higher in the metabolic syndrome or prediabetes. Statin treatment does not adversely affect cognitive function, even at very low levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and is not associated with clinically significant deterioration of renal function, or development of cataract. Transient increases in liver enzymes occur in 0.5-2% of patients taking statins but are not clinically relevant; idiosyncratic liver injury due to statins is very rare and causality difficult to prove. The evidence base does not support an increased risk of haemorrhagic stroke in individuals without cerebrovascular disease; a small increase in risk was suggested by the Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction of Cholesterol Levels study in subjects with prior stroke but has not been confirmed in the substantive evidence base of RCTs, cohort studies and case-control studies.

Conclusion: Long-term statin treatment is remarkably safe with a low risk of clinically relevant adverse effects as defined above; statin-associated muscle symptoms were discussed in a previous Consensus Statement. Importantly, the established cardiovascular benefits of statin therapy far outweigh the risk of adverse effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6047411PMC
July 2018

Prevention of cardiovascular disease: Much more is needed.

Authors:
Guy G De Backer

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2018 07 25;25(10):1083-1086. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487318770297DOI Listing
July 2018

Lifestyle behaviour and risk factor control in coronary patients: Belgian results from the cross-sectional EUROASPIRE surveys.

Acta Cardiol 2019 Feb 19;74(1):21-27. Epub 2018 Feb 19.

a Department of Public Health , Ghent University , Gent , Belgium.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess lifestyle behaviour as well as risk factor management across Belgian coronary patients who participated in the cross-sectional European Action on Secondary Prevention through Intervention to Reduce Events (EUROASPIRE) surveys.

Methods: Analyses are based on a series of coronary patients by combining data from the Belgian participants in the EUROASPIRE III (328 patients; in 2006-2007) and EUROASPIRE IV (343 patients; in 2012-2013) surveys. Four hospitals located in the Ghent area participated in the surveys. Patients included in the analyses were ≥18 years old and had been hospitalised for a coronary event. Information on cardiovascular risk factors, lifestyle behaviour and medical treatment were obtained.

Results: Overall, the proportion of smokers was 11% with 40% persistent smokers. Adequate physical activity levels were reported by 17%, 28% of patients were obese, 47% was central obese and known diabetes was prevalent in 21% of patients. Hypertension was observed in 46% of patients and 20% had a total cholesterol ≥5 mmol/L. About 80% had participated in a cardiac rehabilitation programme and the majority of patients were treated with blood pressure (92%) or lipid-lowering drugs (92%). Anxiety and depressive symptoms were reported by 30% and 24%, respectively. Differences between EUROASPIRE III and IV were limited.

Conclusions: Compared to the overall EUROASPIRE results in Europe, Belgian CHD patients seem to do slightly better. However, tackling obesity, physical inactivity, hypertension and psychosocial distress remains an important challenge in the management of coronary patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00015385.2018.1438092DOI Listing
February 2019
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