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Physicians' estimates of the 10 year cardiovascular risk in hypertensive patients: an evaluation in primary care physicians in training

Physicians' estimates of the 10 year cardiovascular risk in hypertensive patients: an evaluation in primary care physicians in training

Swiss Medical Weekly 136(37-38): 603-608

To evaluate how young physicians in training perceive their patients' cardiovascular risk based on the medical charts and their clinical judgment. Cross sectional observational study. University outpatient clinic, Lausanne, Switzerland. Two hundred hypertensive patients and 50 non-hypertensive patients with at least one cardiovascular risk factor. Comparison of the absolute 10-year cardiovascular risk calculated by a computer program based on the Framingham score and adapted for physicians by the WHO/ISH with the perceived risk as assessed clinically by the physicians. Physicians underestimated the 10-year cardiovascular risk of their patients compared to that calculated with the Framingham score. Concordance between methods was 39% for hypertensive patients and 30% for non-hypertensive patients. Underestimation of cardiovascular risks for hypertensive patients was related to the fact they had a stabilized systolic blood pressure under 140 mm Hg (OR = 2.1 [1.1; 4.1]). These data show that young physicians in training often have an incorrect perception of the cardiovascular risk of their patients with a tendency to underestimate the risk. However, the calculated risk could also be slightly overestimated when applying the Framingham Heart Study model to a Swiss population. To implement a systematic evaluation of risk factors in primary care a greater emphasis should be placed on the teaching of cardiovascular risk evaluation and on the implementation of quality improvement programs.

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Accession: 049922935

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PMID: 17043954

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