Background: Both EUROASPIRE studies revealed the suboptimal management of coronary patients regarding lifestyle changes and prophylactic use of cardiovascular drugs. We report here on the mortality follow-up of the EUROASPIRE I cohort over a median period of 4.4 years.
Design and methods: The EUROASPIRE I cohort consisted of a consecutive sample of patients aged < or =70 years from nine European countries, hospitalized because of coronary artery bypass graft, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, acute myocardial infarction or myocardial ischaemia. Baseline data, gathered in 1995-96 through standardized methods, were linked to cause-specific mortality as registered up to 1 April 2000 in 3343 patients.
Results: After adjustment for age, gender and diagnostic category according to Cox modelling, smoking, previous coronary heart disease and diabetes proved significant predictors of total, cardiovascular (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality. Obesity, low education, raised blood pressure, elevated total cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol, however, were not significantly associated with higher mortality rates. In multivariate analysis, smoking and diabetes emerged as the strongest predictors of CVD [risk ratios (RR) 2.2 and 2.5 respectively] and CHD mortality (RR 2.4 and 2.4 respectively).
Conclusions: The results of the mortality follow-up of the EUROASPIRE I patients underline the importance of smoking and diabetes in the secondary prevention of CHD. Failure to find statistically significant associations between other classical risk factors, such as blood pressure and plasma lipid levels, and mortality may be related to the extensive use of antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs in this cohort.