National study of physician awareness and adherence to cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines

Lori Mosca, Allison H Linfante, Emelia J Benjamin, Kathy Berra, Sharonne N Hayes, Brian W Walsh, Rosalind P Fabunmi, Johnny Kwan, Thomas Mills, Susan Lee Simpson
Circulation 2005 February 1, 111 (4): 499-510

BACKGROUND: Few data have evaluated physician adherence to cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention guidelines according to physician specialty or patient characteristics, particularly gender.

METHODS AND RESULTS: An online study of 500 randomly selected physicians (300 primary care physicians, 100 obstetricians/gynecologists, and 100 cardiologists) used a standardized questionnaire to assess awareness of, adoption of, and barriers to national CVD prevention guidelines by specialty. An experimental case study design tested physician accuracy and determinants of CVD risk level assignment and application of guidelines among high-, intermediate-, or low-risk patients. Intermediate-risk women, as assessed by the Framingham risk score, were significantly more likely to be assigned to a lower-risk category by primary care physicians than men with identical risk profiles (P<0.0001), and trends were similar for obstetricians/gynecologists and cardiologists. Assignment of risk level significantly predicted recommendations for lifestyle and preventive pharmacotherapy. After adjustment for risk assignment, the impact of patient gender on preventive care was not significant except for less aspirin (P<0.01) and more weight management recommended (P<0.04) for intermediate-risk women. Physicians did not rate themselves as very effective in their ability to help patients prevent CVD. Fewer than 1 in 5 physicians knew that more women than men die each year from CVD.

CONCLUSIONS: Perception of risk was the primary factor associated with CVD preventive recommendations. Gender disparities in recommendations for preventive therapy were explained largely by the lower perceived risk despite similar calculated risk for women versus men. Educational interventions for physicians are needed to improve the quality of CVD preventive care and lower morbidity and mortality from CVD for men and women.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"