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Optimal medical therapy for secondary prevention after an acute coronary syndrome: 18-month follow-up results at a tertiary teaching hospital in South Korea

Authors Byeon HJ, Yang YM, Choi EJ

Received 4 November 2015

Accepted for publication 7 January 2016

Published 12 February 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 167—175

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S99869

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Hoa Le

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh

Hee Ja Byeon,1,* Young-Mo Yang,2,* Eun Joo Choi2

1Department of Pharmacy, Chosun University Hospital, 2Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Chosun University, Gwangju, South Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a fatal cardiovascular disease caused by atherosclerotic plaque erosion or rupture and formation of coronary thrombus. The latest guidelines for ACS recommend the combined drug regimen, comprising aspirin, P2Y12 inhibitor, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blocker, β-blocker, and statin, at discharge after ACS treatment to reduce recurrent ischemic cardiovascular events. This study aimed to examine prescription patterns of secondary prevention drugs in Korean patients with ACS after hospital discharge, to access the appropriateness of secondary prevention drug therapy for ACS, and to evaluate whether to persistently use discharge medications for 18 months.
Methods: This study was retrospectively conducted with the patients who were discharged from the tertiary hospital, located in South Korea, after ACS treatment between September 2009 and August 2013. Data were collected through electronic medical record.
Results: Among 3,676 patients during the study period, 494 were selected based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. The regimen of aspirin + clopidogrel + β-blocker + angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin II receptor blocker + statin was prescribed to 374 (75.71%) patients with ACS at discharge. Specifically, this regimen was used in 177 (69.69%) unstable angina patients, 44 (70.97%) non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients, and 153 (85.96%) ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients. Compared with the number of ACS patients with all five guideline-recommended drugs at discharge, the number of ACS patients using them 12 (n=169, 34.21%) and 18 (n=105, 21.26%) months after discharge tended to be gradually decreased.
Conclusion: The majority of ACS patients in this study received all five guideline-recommended medications at discharge from the hospital. However, the frequency of using all of them had been gradually decreased 3, 6, 12, and 18 months after discharge compared with that at discharge. Careful monitoring of adherence on ACS secondary prevention medications may help improve the outcomes of ACS patients in terms of recurrent ischemic cardiovascular events.

Keywords: acute coronary syndrome, secondary prevention, guideline adherence, patient discharge, electronic medical record, cardiovascular disease

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