Aim: The aim of the European Action on Secondary and Primary Prevention by Intervention to Reduce Events III (EUROASPIRE III) survey was to determine whether the Joint European Societies' guidelines on cardiovascular prevention are being followed in everyday clinical practice and to describe the lifestyle, risk factor and therapeutic management in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) in Europe.
Methods: The EUROASPIRE III survey was carried out in 2006-2007 in 76 centres from selected geographical areas in 22 countries in Europe. Consecutive patients, with a clinical diagnosis of CHD, were identified retrospectively and then followed up, interviewed and examined at least 6 months after their coronary event.
Results: Thirteen thousand nine hundred and thirty-five medical records (27% women) were reviewed and 8966 patients were interviewed. At interview, 17% of patients smoked cigarettes, 35% were obese and 53% centrally obese, 56% had a blood pressure >or=140/90 mmHg (>or=130/80 in people with diabetes mellitus), 51% had a serum total cholesterol >or=4.5 mmol/l and 25% reported a history of diabetes of whom 10% had a fasting plasma glucose less than 6.1 mmol/l and 35% a glycated haemoglobin A1c less than 6.5%. The use of cardioprotective medication was: antiplatelets 91%; beta-blockers 80%; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin-receptor blockers 71%; calcium channel blockers 25% and statins 78%.
Conclusion: The EUROASPIRE III survey shows that large proportions of coronary patients do not achieve the lifestyle, risk factor and therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease prevention. Wide variations in risk factor prevalences and the use of cardioprotective drug therapies exist between countries. There is still considerable potential throughout Europe to raise standards of preventive care in order to reduce the risk of recurrent disease and death in patients with CHD.