Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of concurrent hypertension and dyslipidemia among a general veteran population and separately among patients with diabetes mellitus, and to compare the prevalence of cardiovascular disease among groups with isolated versus concurrent hypertension and dyslipidemia.
Study design: Retrospective cohort study.
Patients and methods: This study was conducted in 6 medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs and included 371221 patients seen for any reason from October 1, 1998, to September 30, 2001. The proportion of patients with isolated or concurrent hypertension and dyslipidemia was estimated based on diagnostic, pharmacy, laboratory, and vital sign information, and the age-adjusted proportions of individuals with cardiovascular disease were compared between groups.
Results: We found that 57.8% of all patients had hypertension or dyslipidemia; 30.7% had both. Sixteen percent of all patients had diabetes mellitus, and 66.3% of these patients had concomitant hypertension and dyslipidemia. The prevalence of coronary artery disease was often more than doubled among patients with concomitant conditions compared with patients with either condition alone. The prevalence of stroke and peripheral arterial disease similarly increased among patients with both conditions. The prevalence of these cardiovascular diseases was highest among patients with diabetes mellitus.
Conclusion: The prevalence of cardiovascular disease was high among this population of older, predominately male US veterans.