Control of heart disease risk factors varies among outpatient practices

Control of heart disease risk factors varies widely among outpatient practices, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2013.

Researchers compared electronic health records of 115,737 patients in 18 primary care and cardiology practices participating in The Guideline Advantage™, a collaboration of the , and that aims to reduce risks for chronic diseases. They found:

  • The percentage of people whose hypertension was under control (less than 140/90 mm Hg) ranged from 58.7 percent to 75.1 percent.
  • The percentage of diabetic patients with cholesterol under control ("bad" cholesterol under 100 mg/dL) ranged from 53.8 percent to 100 percent.
  • The percentage of patients screened for smoking, and receiving a tobacco cessation intervention, ranged from 53.8 percent to 86.1 percent.

"Previously, we've focused on improving the quality of inpatient hospital care and haven't explored enough how to improve outpatient care," said Zubin Eapen, M.D., the study's lead author and an assistant professor of medicine at Duke University in Durham, N.C. "This baseline snapshot lets us see just how much progress could be made in preventing or managing diseases."

"It's eye-opening for practices to see how much better or worse they're doing than their peers on nationally derived measures of quality. They can learn to improve in collaboration with others instead of alone," he said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cardio risks need evaluation before prescribing statins

Mar 15, 2013

(HealthDay)—Physicians may not adequately consider a patient's cardiovascular risk when prescribing statins as preventive therapy, according to a research letter published online March 11 in JAMA Internal Me ...

Recommended for you

Health insurers using drug coverage to discriminate

11 minutes ago

Some insurers offering health plans through the new federal marketplace may be using drug coverage decisions to discourage people with HIV from selecting their plans, according to a new study from Harvard ...

Why medical debt – and bankruptcy – are growing problems

1 hour ago

Burdensomely high medical costs are often blamed for pushing many Americans into bankruptcy. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau some 43 million Americans have unpaid medical debt on their credit reports. ...

California declares electronic cigarettes a health threat

2 hours ago

California health officials on Wednesday declared electronic cigarettes a health threat that should be strictly regulated like tobacco products, joining other states and health advocates across the U.S. in seeking tighter ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.