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Cardioprotective medication use and risk factor control among US adults with unrecognized myocardial infarction: the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study

Authors Levitan EB, Gamboa C, Safford MM, Rizk DV, Brown TM, Soliman EZ, Muntner P

Published Date February 2013 Volume 2013:9 Pages 47—55


Received 13 November 2012, Accepted 31 December 2012, Published 5 February 2013

Emily B Levitan,1 Christopher Gamboa,1 Monika M Safford,2 Dana V Rizk,3 Todd M Brown,4 Elsayed Z Soliman,5 Paul Muntner1

1Department of Epidemiology, 2Division of Preventive Medicine, 3Division of Nephrology, 4Division of Cardiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA; 5Epidemiological Cardiology Research Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA

Background: Individuals with unrecognized myocardial infarction (UMI) have similar risks for cardiovascular events and mortality as those with recognized myocardial infarction (RMI). The prevalence of cardioprotective medication use and blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol control among individuals with UMI is unknown.
Methods: Participants from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study who were recruited between May 2004 and October 2007 received baseline twelve-lead electrocardiograms (n = 21,036). Myocardial infarction (MI) status was characterized as no MI, UMI (electrocardiogram abnormalities consistent with MI without self-reported history; n = 949; 4.5%), and RMI (self-reported history of MI; n = 1574; 7.5%).
Results: For participants with no MI, UMI, and RMI, prevalence of use was 38.4%, 44.4%, and 75.7% for aspirin; 18.0%, 25.8%, and 57.2% for beta blockers; 31.7%, 38.7%, and 55.0% for angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers; and 28.1%, 33.9%, and 64.1% for statins, respectively. Participants with RMI were 35% more likely to have low-density lipoprotein cholesterol < 100 mg/dL than participants with UMI (prevalence ratio = 1.35, 95% confidence interval 1.19–1.52). Blood pressure control (<140/90 mmHg) was similar between RMI and UMI groups (prevalence ratio = 1.03, 95% confidence interval 0.93–1.13).
Conclusion: Although participants with UMI were somewhat more likely to use cardioprotective medications than those with no MI, they were less likely to use cardioprotective medications and to have controlled low-density lipoprotein cholesterol than participants with RMI. Increasing appropriate treatment and risk factor control among individuals with UMI may reduce risk of mortality and future cardiovascular events.

Keywords: unrecognized myocardial infarction, secondary prevention, risk factor control

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