Patient, Physician, and Practice Characteristics Associated with Cardiovascular Disease Preventive Care for Women

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2017 May;26(5):491-499. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2015.5613. Epub 2017 Feb 27.


Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for American women. Although CVD preventive care has the potential to reduce a significant number of these deaths, the degree to which healthcare providers deliver such care is unknown. The purpose of this study was to identify patient, physician, and practice characteristics that significantly influence the provision of CVD preventive care during ambulatory care visits for female patients.

Methods: The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey datasets from 2005 to 2010 were utilized. The study sample included female patients ≥20 years of age whose healthcare provider performed CVD preventive care and who had visits for a new health problem, a routine chronic problem, management of a chronic condition, and preventive care. Binary logistic regression models estimated the association of patient, physician, and practice characteristics and CVD preventive care; cholesterol testing, body mass index (BMI) screening, and tobacco education.

Results: Of the 32,009 visits, 15.9% involved cholesterol testing, 50.3% involved BMI screening, and 3.20% involved tobacco education. Obstetricians/gynecologists were less likely to perform cholesterol testing (aOR: 0.39; 95% CI: 0.25-0.61) and tobacco education (aOR: 0.56; 95% CI: 0.32-0.98) than general/family physicians.

Conclusion: The delivery of CVD preventive care varied by healthcare provider type, with obstetricians/gynecologists having lower odds of providing two of the three services. The amount of time a physician spent with a patient was a significant predictor for the provision of all three services. These findings demonstrate the need to implement multifaceted approaches to address predicting characteristics of CVD preventive care.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; preventive services; women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / methods*
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Family
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Specialization
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States