Under-use of appropriate blood pressure-lowering and lipid-lowering therapy in the Busselton baby boomer population

Aust J Gen Pract. 2019 Dec;48(12):883-889. doi: 10.31128/AJGP-07-19-4996.


Background and objectives: Data are sparse on how well the absolute risk approach is implemented in primary healthcare. The aim of this study was to quantify absolute cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, appropriate use of blood pressure (BP)-lowering and lipid-lowering therapy, and clinical target responses in the Busselton baby boomer population.

Method: This was a cross-sectional study of 5107 people aged 45-69 years (54.6% female) who participated in the 2010-2015 Busselton Healthy Ageing Study.

Results: Overall, 16.1% of participants had prior CVD (5.8%) or a high primary CVD risk (10.3%). The frequency of use of a guideline-recommended combination of BP-lowering and lipid-lowering therapy was 46.2% in participants with prior CVD, compared with only 16.8% in those with high primary CVD risk (P <0.001). Among the high-risk participants who were receiving recommended combination therapy, only 42.7% achieved target systolic BP levels and 42.1% achieved target total cholesterol levels.

Discussion: These data confirm substantial under treatment of Australian adults who are at high CVD risk. Enhanced implementation of absolute CVD risk assessment and evidence-based treatment in high-risk adults has potential for substantial health gains.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Australia
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Primary Prevention
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Western Australia


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Hypolipidemic Agents