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Cardiovascular disease as a leading cause of death: how are pharmacists getting involved?

Authors Mc Namara K, Alzubaidi H, Jackson JK

Received 3 November 2017

Accepted for publication 7 May 2018

Published 4 February 2019 Volume 2019:8 Pages 1—11


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling

Kevin Mc Namara,1–3 Hamzah Alzubaidi,4 John Keith Jackson3

1School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, Australia; 2Deakin Health Economics, Centre for Population Health, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, Australia; 3Centre for Medicine Use & Safety, Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; 4Institute for Medical Research and College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Abstract: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a leading cause of death globally. This article explores the evidence surrounding community pharmacist interventions to reduce cardiovascular events and related mortality and to improve the management of CVD risk factors. We summarize a range of systematic reviews and leading randomized controlled trials and provide critical appraisal. Major observations are that very few trials directly measure clinical outcomes, potentially owing to a range of challenges in this regard. By contrast, there is an extensive, high-quality evidence to suggest that improvements can be achieved for key CVD risk factors such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, tobacco use, and elevated hemoglobin A1c. The heterogeneity of interventions tested and considerable variation of the context under which implementation occurred suggest that caution is warranted in the interpretation of meta-analyses. It is highly important to generate evidence for pharmacist interventions in developing countries where a majority of the global CVD burden will be experienced in the near future. A growing capacity for clinical registry trials and data linkage might allow future research to collect clinical outcomes data more often.

Keywords: health services, chronic disease management, cardiovascular risk factors, preventative health, disease screening

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