Secondary Pharmacotherapeutic Prevention among German Primary Care Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease

Int J Vasc Med. 2011;2011:316496. doi: 10.1155/2011/316496. Epub 2011 Jun 26.


Background. The aim of the study was to determine the secondary preventive medical supply of patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in German primary care. Methods and Results. A population-based case control study was conducted using electronic medical records of patients extracted from the CONTENT primary care database of Heidelberg, Germany, between April 2007 and March 2010. The prescription rates of cardiovascular medication among symptomatic PAD patients were analysed by means of the ATC classification and compared with those of patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). 479 cases with PAD and 958 sex- and age-matched control CVD patients were identified. PAD patients showed significantly lower prescription rates for cardiac agents (21.7% versus 37%), β-blockers (50.1% versus. 66.2%), and lipid-lowering agents (50.3% versus 55.9%) compared to CVD patients. In contrast, significantly more prescriptions of antidiabetic agents (28.2% versus 20.3%), particularly insulin and analogues (12.5% versus 8%), and calcium channel blockers (29.2% versus 24.3%) were found in PAD patients. Low-dose aspirin use among both PAD and CVD patients was underestimated, as it is available without a prescription. Conclusions. Optimal pharmacotherapeutical care of patients with PAD requires more intensive cardioprotective medication in primary care settings.