Background-Patients with peripheral arterial disease constitute a high-risk population. Guideline-recommended medical therapy use is therefore of utmost importance. The aims of our study were to establish the patterns of guidelinerecommende medication use in patients with PAD at the time of vascular surgery and after 3 years of follow up, and to evaluate the effect of these therapies on long-term mortality in this patient group. Methods and Results-Data on 711 consecutive patients with peripheral arterial disease undergoing vascular surgery were collected from 11 hospitals in the Netherlands (enrollment between May and December 2004). After 3.1=0.1 years of follow-up, information on medication use was obtained by a questionnaire (n<465; 84% response rate among survivors). Guideline-recommended medical therapy use for the combination of aspirin and statins in all patients and β-blockers in patients with ischemic heart disease was 41% in the perioperative period. The use of perioperative evidence-based medication was associated with a reduction of 3-year mortality after adjustment for clinical characteristics (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.94). After 3 years of follow-up, aspirin was used in 74%, statins in 69%, and β-blockers in 54% of the patients respectively. Guideline-recommended medical therapy use for the combination of aspirin, statins, and β-blockers was 50%. Conclusions-The use of guideline recommended therapies in the perioperative period was associated with reduction in long-term mortality in patients with peripheral arterial disease. However, the proportion of patients receiving these evidence-based treatments- both at baseline and 3 years after vascular surgery-was lower than expected based on the current guidelines. These data highlight a clear opportunity to improve the quality of care in this high-risk group of patients. (Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2009;2:338-343.)

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Circulation. Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hoeks, S.E, Scholte op Reimer, W.J.M, van Gestel, Y.R.B.M, Schouten, O, Lenzen, M.J, Flu, W-J.P, … Poldermans, D. (2009). Medication underuse during long-term follow-up in patients with peripheral arterial disease. Circulation. Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 2(4), 338–343. doi:10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.109.868505