Specialty preference for cardiovascular prevention practice in the Southeast US and role of a preventive cardiologist

Postgrad Med J. 2023 Dec 21;100(1179):42-49. doi: 10.1093/postmj/qgad082.


Introduction: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention is practiced concurrently by providers from several specialties. Our goal was to understand providers' preference of specialties in CVD prevention practice and the role of preventive cardiologists.

Materials and methods: Between 11 October 2021 and 1 March 2022, we surveyed providers from internal medicine, family medicine, endocrinology, and cardiology specialties to examine their preference of specialties in managing various domains of CVD prevention. We examined categorical variables using Chi square test and continuous variables using t or analysis of variance test.

Results: Of 956 invitees, 263 from 21 health systems and 9 states responded. Majority of respondents were women (54.5%), practicing physicians (72.5%), specializing in cardiology (43.6%), and working at academic centers (51.3%). Respondents favored all specialties to prescribe statins (43.2%), ezetimibe (37.8%), sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors (30.5%), and aspirin in primary prevention (36.3%). Only 7.9% and 9.5% selected cardiologists and preventive cardiologists, respectively, to prescribe SGLT2 inhibitors. Most preferred specialists (i.e. cardiology and endocrinology) to manage advanced lipid disorders, refractory hypertension, and premature coronary heart disease. The most common conditions selected for preventive cardiologists to manage were genetic lipid disorders (17%), cardiovascular risk assessment (15%), dyslipidemia (13%), and refractory/resistant hypertension (12%).

Conclusions: For CVD prevention practice, providers favored all specialties to manage common conditions, specialists to manage complex conditions, and preventive cardiologists to manage advanced lipid disorders. Cardiologists were least preferred to prescribe SGLT2 inhibitor. Future research should explore reasons for selected CVD prevention practice preferences to optimize care coordination and for effective use of limited expertise.

Keywords: cardiovascular prevention; preventive cardiology.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiologists*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension*
  • Internal Medicine
  • Lipids
  • Male
  • Southeastern United States


  • Lipids