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ACC: Pharmacist Intervention Can Cut Cardiovascular Risk

Twenty-one percent decrease in CVD risk after adjustment for baseline values, center effect

TUESDAY, April 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A community pharmacy-based intervention can reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among high-risk patients, according to a study published online April 4 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The research is being published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from April 2 to 4 in Chicago.

Ross T. Tsuyuki, Pharm.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial in 56 community pharmacies across Alberta (RxEACH trial). Participants at high risk for cardiovascular disease were recruited by their pharmacist; 723 were randomized to intervention or usual care. The intervention group received a medical therapy management review from their pharmacist, which included risk assessment and education about CVD. Medications were prescribed and laboratory tests ordered to achieve treatment targets.

The researchers observed a 21 percent difference in CVD risk between the intervention and usual care groups after adjustment for baseline values and center effects (P < 0.001). Greater reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.2 mmol/L; P < 0.001), systolic blood pressure (9.37 mm Hg; P < 0.001), glycated hemoglobin (0.92 percent; P < 0.001) and smoking cessation (20.2 percent; P = 0.002) were also seen in the intervention group.

“Engagement of community pharmacists with an expanded scope of practice could have significant public health implications,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, which partially funded the RxEACH study.

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