Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Medication Reviews Conducted by Pharmacists on Cardiovascular Diseases Risk Factors in Ambulatory Care

J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Nov 19;8(22):e013627. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.013627. Epub 2019 Nov 12.


Background Pharmacists-led medication reviews (MRs) are claimed to be effective for the control of cardiovascular diseases; however, the evidence in the literature is conflicting. The main objective of this meta-analysis was to analyze the impact of pharmacist-led MRs on cardiovascular disease risk factors overall and in different ambulatory settings while exploring the effects of different components of MRs. Methods and Results Searches were conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and the Cochrane Library Central Register of Controlled Trials database. Randomized and cluster randomized controlled trials of pharmacist-led MRs compared with usual care were included. Settings were community pharmacies and ambulatory clinics. The classification used for MRs was the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe as basic (type 1), intermediate (type 2), and advanced (type 3). Meta-analyses in therapeutic goals used odds ratios to standardize the effect of each study, and for continuous data (eg, systolic blood pressure) raw differences were calculated using baseline and final values, with 95% CIs. Prediction intervals were calculated to account for heterogeneity. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to test the robustness of results. Meta-analyses included 69 studies with a total of 11 644 patients. Sample demographic characteristics were similar between studies. MRs increased control of hypertension (odds ratio, 2.73; 95% prediction interval, 1.05-7.08), type 2 diabetes mellitus (odds ratio, 3.11; 95% prediction interval, 1.17-5.88), and high cholesterol (odds ratio, 1.91; 95% prediction interval, 1.05-3.46). In ambulatory clinics, MRs produced significant effects in control of diabetes mellitus and cholesterol. For community pharmacies, systolic blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein values decreased significantly. Advanced MRs had larger effects than intermediate MRs in diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia outcomes. Most intervention components had no significant effect on clinical outcomes and were often poorly described. CIs were significant in all analyses but prediction intervals were not in continuous clinical outcomes, with high heterogeneity present. Conclusions Intermediate and advanced MRs provided by pharmacists may improve control of blood pressure, cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes mellitus, as statistically significant prediction intervals were found. However, most continuous clinical outcomes failed to achieve statistical significance, with high heterogeneity present, although positive trends and effect sizes were found. Studies should use a standardized method for MRs to diminish sources of these heterogeneities.

Keywords: cardiovascular risk factors; hypertension; medication reviews; pharmacist management; type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Community Pharmacy Services*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Medication Adherence
  • Pharmaceutical Services
  • Pharmacists*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome