Cardiovascular risk reduction in referrals to outpatient vascular clinics

P. Stather, F. Muscara, Vascular and Endovascular Research Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), aneurysmal disease (AD) or carotid atherosclerosis are at high cardiovascular risk, necessitating secondary cardiovascular protection. The aim of this study was to determine compliance with cardiovascular risk reduction guidelines in new patients referred to vascular clinics.  

Methods: A multicentre collaborative national observational audit of new patients referred to eight tertiary general vascular clinics over a three-month period in England and Wales was conducted by the Vascular and Endovascular Research Network (VERN). Referral letters, case notes and investigations were reviewed by local investigators, and data analysed by VERN.  

Results: A total of 656 patients were included in the study: 73.2% had PAD, 23.2% had AD and 3.7% had carotid atherosclerosis. A third (37.5%) were current smokers, two-thirds (61.7%) were on antiplatelet therapy and two-thirds (61.5%) were on statin therapy. Smoking was more prevalent in the PAD cohort (PAD 41.4%, AD 27.5%, p=0.003). However, more PAD patients were on antiplatelet therapy (PAD 63.9%, AD 53.3%, p=0.024). Both antiplatelet and statin prescription significantly increased with the number of cardiovascular risk factors. Patients with a previous cardiac or cerebrovascular history were more likely to have stopped smoking, and to be on antiplatelet and statin therapy (p<0.0001 for each). Overall, 47.3% of patients were on both antiplatelet and statin therapy, and 28.9% were on antiplatelet and statin therapy and not smoking.  

Conclusions: This study highlights deficiencies in cardiovascular risk minimisation in patients with established vascular disease. Patients with concomitant cardiac or cerebrovascular disease were more likely to be on best medical therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Issue number3
Early online date28 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Cite this