Cardiac risk factor management: Experience of an outpatient hypertension clinic

N. E. Straznicky, L. G. Howes, H. Krum, C. J. O'Callaghan, J. J. McNeil, P. A. Phillips, B. Jackson, S. N. Anavekar, K. Jandeleit, J. C. Hurley, E. S. Louis, W. J. Louis

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Objective: To describe the outcome of the management of cardiovascular risk factors in the hypertension clinic of a teaching hospital over a five-year period. Design: Retrospective analysis of risk factor data (blood pressure, plasma cholesterol level, body weight, smoking and drinking habits) obtained from computerised hypertension clinic progress report forms. Setting: Public teaching hospital. Patients: One hundred and thirty-one patients referred to the clinic from both general practice and from within the hospital who attended the clinic regularly during the five-year study period. Intervention: Long term management of hypertension and coexisting coronary risk factors by dietary, medical and lifestyle intervention. Results: There was a significant improvement in diastolic blood pressure control in 1990 versus 1986 in both men and women, while systolic blood pressure improved in women only. The number of patients controlled with monotherapy increased from 38% in 1986 to 45% in 1990. Eighty-nine per cent of the men and 85% of women remained above their maximum desirable weight. Reported levels of alcohol consumption were low and the proportion of smokers was below that of the general population. A significant decline in plasma total cholesterol levels was observed in the women. Despite dietary advice and a limited use of lipid lowering drugs, 53.2% of the men and 66.1% of the women continued to have total plasma cholesterol levels above 5.5mmol/L in 1990. High density lipoprotein levels increased significantly in the women only. Conclusion: A high proportion of our clinic patients have well controlled hypertension, but the clinic program produced little evidence of improvement in risk factors in men stabilised by long term therapy. More intensive methods of achieving lifestyle modification and a wider use of lipid lowering drugs may be needed if we are to achieve satisfactory body weights and lipid profiles in hypertensive patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-692+694+698
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1991

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