Overweight can be used as a tool to guide case-finding for cardiovascular risk assessment

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Abstract

Background.

In general practice, it is too time-consuming to invite all patients for cardiovascular risk assessment.

Objective.

To examine how many patients with an indication for treatment with cardiovascular medication can be identified by ad hoc case-finding when all patients with overweight/obesity are invited for risk assessment.

Methods.

A cross-sectional analysis of the baseline measurements of the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity study, a population-based prospective cohort study in 6673 persons aged 45–65 years. We calculated the proportion of participants with a treatment indication using the risk prediction Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE-NL 2011), for lean, overweight and obese participants. Participants with a history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus or rheumatoid arthritis or using cardiovascular medication were not eligible for ad hoc case-finding because they were already identified as being at risk and/or had been treated.

Results.

Of the study population, 30% had already been identified and/or treated with cardiovascular medication and were therefore not eligible for ad hoc case-finding. Of the eligible participants, 47% were lean, 41% overweight and 12% obese. Of the participants with overweight, 12% had a treatment indication and of the participants with obesity, 19% had a treatment indication. Of all participants with a treatment indication 24% were not yet treated. Of all participants with a new treatment indication, 70% had overweight or obesity.

Conclusions.

Of the participants with a treatment indication, 24% were not yet treated. Inviting patients with overweight/obesity for cardiovascular risk assessment may help to detect 70% of these residual patients with a treatment indication.

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