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Socioeconomic deprivation does not affect prescribing of secondary prevention in patients with peripheral arterial disease

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  • Economics
  • Medicine


Aim: Aim of the study was to assess the effect of socioeconomic deprivation on prescribing of cardiovascular secondary prevention medications in patients referred with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Methods: A retrospective review of vascular clinic referrals was performed. All patients referred from primary care with suspected PAD over a two month period were included. The deprivation score, prescription of cardiovascular secondary prevention medications, smoking status and the presence of cardiovascular co-morbidities (coronary artery or cerebrovascular disease - CAD/CVD) were assessed. Comparison was made between socioeconomic groups using the Carstairs Deprivation (DepCat) Score and between patients with and without a history of currently existing cardiovascular co-morbidities. Results: The study included 391 patients. Almost two thirds of patients (253) were from the most deprived socioeconomic groups and were significantly younger at presentation (median age DepCat 7: 63 yrs, DepCat 1-2: 74.5 yrs, P<0.0001). The majority of patients with a prior history of CAD/CVD were prescribed secondary preventative medications at the time of referral with suspected PAD whereas those with no prior history of CAD/CVD, (212 patients, 54%) were significantly less likely to be prescribed antiplatelets (47% vs. 83%), statins (45% vs. 86%) or ACEi/ARBs (29% vs. 68%) (all P<0.05). Secondary prevention prescribing did not differ between socioeconomic groups. Conclusion: Secondary prevention prescribing is inadequate in patients with suspected PAD regardless of socioeconomic group and is significantly lower in those without previously diagnosed CAD/CVD. There remains a lack of appreciation of the high cardiovascular risk associated with PAD.

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