Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally and has enormous costs for healthcare systems. This disease has a strong association with lifestyle behaviors. Therefore, applying reliable and effective strategies for prevention and treatment of CVD is important. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the adherence of cardiologist physicians to the American Heart Association (AHA) guideline for prevention of CVD.
Using a cross-sectional study, data were gathered for 208 patients using their medical records in the cardiology ward of a general teaching hospital. A physician systematically reviewed the medical records and completed the checklist in each domain. Adherence to the AHA guideline was evaluated in treating physician's choices and recommendations regarding these eight variables: hypertension (HTN), dietary intake, weight management, diabetes management, physical activity, blood lipid management, smoking, and aspirin prescription.
Medical records of 208 patients (109 men and 99 women) with the mean age of 62 ± 14 years were reviewed. The frequency of CVDs was 5.3% for coronary heart failure (HF) and 67.8% for the acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Cardiovascular risk factors of patients were HTN (53.8%), diabetes (34.6%), hyperlipidemia (17.3%), smoking (17.8%), and obesity (31.7%). We found a proportion of 59%, 15%, and 26% for high, moderate, and low adherence to AHA guideline, respectively.
Our study showed almost 60% high adherence to the AHA guideline by physicians in a teaching hospital. The most and the least adherence to the AHA guideline were for obesity and diabetes recommendations, respectively. More studies are needed to evaluate preventive guideline adherence in Iran. Establishing national preventive and therapeutic guidelines may increase the physicians' adherence to them.