Background and objective: Most evidence on the efficacy of intensive preventive programs of secondary prevention of coronary diseases comes from Anglo-Saxon countries and effectiveness remains controversial. We have scarce information about the efficacy of these types of programs in Spain. In the present analysis we show the results of the ICAR (Intervención en la Comunidad de Alto Riesgo coronario) study, aimed to analyze the efficacy of an intensive preventive program primary care based in reducing the cardiovascular recurrences and mortality in patients with coronary heart disease.
Patients and method: We designed a randomized clinical trial, multicenter and community based, which included 23 health care areas in Catalonia, Spain. We followed for 5 years 2 cohorts of patients with coronary heart disease, aged 30-80 years. The intervention group was quarterly examined by their general practitioner, who adjusted treatments to control their cardiovascular risk factors thoroughly and reinforced life style behaviours. In order to do that, patient's weight and blood pressure were determined in each visit and laboratory test carried out twice a year. Patients in the control group received the usual care. In order to analyze the effect of the intervention cardiovascular recurrences and mortality were registered.
Results: We included 983 patients. Mean (standard deviation) age was 64 (10) and 74.5% were men. During the follow-up 235 patients suffered some non-fatal cardiovascular recurrence (109 vs 126 in the control and intervention group, respectively; p = 0.84), and 45 died from cardiovascular recurrences (23 vs 22, respectively; p = 0.57). Adjusted hazard ratio of cardiovascular event and total mortality, for the intervention group were 1.01 (95% confidence interval, 0.74-1.39), and 0.92 (95% confidence interval, 0.54-1.56), respectively.
Conclusions: The implementation of an intensive secondary prevention program based on periodical reminds to patients with stable coronary heart disease to attend their general practitioners did not reduce either the cardiovascular recurrences or mortality at 5 years as compared with usual care.