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It is well recognised that patients with coronary heart disease who take antiplatelet, lipid lowering, and blood pressure lowering medications derive substantial benefits in reducing the risk of a major cardiovascular event. Many patients who have coronary heart disease undergo revascularisation by coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) or angioplasty, but this in itself does not treat the underlying disease process. There is a concern that patients undergoing coronary artery revascularisation may be undertreated with effective drugs.1 We conducted a study to examine the use of medical treatments by patients undergoing CABG or angioplasty to see whether they were receiving adequate preventive medical treatment.
We reviewed the discharge medication charts of all patients with coronary heart disease admitted to a tertiary referral centre in the south of England for either CABG or angioplasty over a six month period between October 2002 and March 2003. The proportions of patients prescribed various combinations of drug treatment used in secondary prevention …