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19-05-2011 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Lifestyle modifications may be best option for dyslipidemic, hypertensive patients

Abstract

Free abstract

MedWire News: Nearly two thirds of patients receiving treatment for dyslipidemia or hypertension are not reaching recommended treatment targets, say researchers.

"Better treatment of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors could result in a substantial reduction in morbidity and mortality among Canadians," comment the authors in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

"Given current physician prescribing and patient habits, lifestyle modification should be considered a priority before additional medications are prescribed," they remark.

Steven Grover (McGill University Health Centre, Québec) and colleagues used data from the 2007 MyHealthCheckup survey, which evaluated CV risk factors, lifestyle habits, and prescribed medications among Canadian adults (aged ≥30 years).

In total, 2674 participants were included in the analysis, and, of these, 47% were receiving treatment for dyslipidemia or hypertension.

Among patients treated for dyslipidemia and hypertension, 61% and 63%, respectively, remained above the optimal treatment targets for smoking (not smoking); regular physical activity (vigorous exercise for ≥90 mins/week or moderate physical activity for ≥3 hours/week); an acceptable body weight (body mass index ≤27 kg/m2); and maximal daily medication (atorvastatin 80 mg or rosuvastatin 40 mg, or ≥2 lipid-lowering drugs, and ≥3 antihypertensive drugs).

Grover et al say that these results demonstrate that there "remains significant room for improvement in risk factor management by both patients and their physicians."

Indeed, they estimate that lifestyle modifications, such as smoking cessation, exercising regularly, or losing weight could increase life expectancy by up to 4.8, 1.9, or 1.6 years, respectively.

They add that gains from combined exercise and weight loss are even better.

"Given current lifestyle habits of patients already on drug therapy and current prescribing patterns, the potential benefits associated with lifestyle modification may be larger than those associated with additional medication," concludes the team.

MedWire (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Nikki Withers