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See detailBurden of cardiovascular disease across 29 countries and GPs’ decision to treat hypertension in oldest-old
Streit, Sven; Gussekloo, Jacobijn; Burman, Robert A. et al

in Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care (2018)

Objectives: We previously found large variations in general practitioner (GP) hypertension treatment probability in oldest-old (>80 years) between countries. We wanted to explore whether differences in ... [more ▼]

Objectives: We previously found large variations in general practitioner (GP) hypertension treatment probability in oldest-old (>80 years) between countries. We wanted to explore whether differences in country-specific cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden and life expectancy could explain the differences. Design: This is a survey study using case-vignettes of oldest-old patients with different comorbidities and blood pressure levels. An ecological multilevel model analysis was performed. Setting: GP respondents from European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN) countries, Brazil and New Zeeland. Subjects: This study included 2543 GPs from 29 countries. Main outcome measures: GP treatment probability to start or not start antihypertensive treatment based on responses to case-vignettes; either low (<50% started treatment) or high (!50% started treatment). CVD burden is defined as ratio of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to ischemic heart disease and/or stroke and total DALYs lost per country; life expectancy at age 60 and prevalence of oldest-old per country. Results: Of 1947 GPs (76%) responding to all vignettes, 787 (40%) scored high treatment probability and 1160 (60%) scored low. GPs in high CVD burden countries had higher odds of treatment probability (OR 3.70; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.00–4.57); in countries with low life expectancy at 60, CVD was associated with high treatment probability (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.12–4.25); but not in countries with high life expectancy (OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.56–1.98). Conclusions: GPs’ choice to treat/not treat hypertension in oldest-old was explained by differences in country-specific health characteristics. GPs in countries with high CVD [less ▲]

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See detailVariation in GP decisions on antihypertensive treatment in oldest-old and frail individuals across 29 countries
Streit, Sven; Verschoor, Marjolein; Rodondi, Nicolas et al

in BMC Geriatrics (2017)

Background In oldest-old patients (>80), few trials showed efficacy of treating hypertension and they included mostly the healthiest elderly. The resulting lack of knowledge has led to inconsistent ... [more ▼]

Background In oldest-old patients (>80), few trials showed efficacy of treating hypertension and they included mostly the healthiest elderly. The resulting lack of knowledge has led to inconsistent guidelines, mainly based on systolic blood pressure (SBP), cardiovascular disease (CVD) but not on frailty despite the high prevalence in oldest-old. This may lead to variation how General Practitioners (GPs) treat hypertension. Our aim was to investigate treatment variation of GPs in oldest-olds across countries and to identify the role of frailty in that decision. Methods Using a survey, we compared treatment decisions in cases of oldest-old varying in SBP, CVD, and frailty. GPs were asked if they would start antihypertensive treatment in each case. In 2016, we invited GPs in Europe, Brazil, Israel, and New Zealand. We compared the percentage of cases that would be treated per countries. A logistic mixed-effects model was used to derive odds ratio (OR) for frailty with 95% confidence intervals (CI), adjusted for SBP, CVD, and GP characteristics (sex, location and prevalence of oldest-old per GP office, and years of experience). The mixed-effects model was used to account for the multiple assessments per GP. Results The 29 countries yielded 2543 participating GPs: 52% were female, 51% located in a city, 71% reported a high prevalence of oldest-old in their offices, 38% and had >20 years of experience. Across countries, considerable variation was found in the decision to start antihypertensive treatment in the oldest-old ranging from 34 to 88%. In 24/29 (83%) countries, frailty was associated with GPs’ decision not to start treatment even after adjustment for SBP, CVD, and GP characteristics (OR 0.53, 95%CI 0.48–0.59; ORs per country 0.11–1.78). Conclusions Across countries, we found considerable variation in starting antihypertensive medication in oldest-old. The frail oldest-old had an odds ratio of 0.53 of receiving antihypertensive treatment. Future hypertension trials should also include frail patients to acquire evidence on the efficacy of antihypertensive treatment in oldest-old patients with frailty, with the aim to get evidence-based data for clinical decision-making. [less ▲]

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