Peer Reviewed
Feature Article Cardiovascular medicine
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How can we improve secondary prevention after ACS?

Tom Briffa, Clara Chow, Alexander Clark, Julie Redfern

With more people surviving acute coronary syndrome, the need for sustainable secondary prevention of coronary heart disease is increasing. Secondary prevention starts with guideline-recommended care before discharge from hospital, followed by an effective transition back into primary care and then evidence-based interventions, underpinned by regular clinical review and patient self-management.

Key Points
  • Evidence-based lifestyle changes and drug therapies are known to reduce the risk of further cardiovascular events in patients who have survived an acute coronary syndrome.
  • Secondary prevention strategies should be implemented before the patient is discharged from hospital and continued by GPs in the community.
  • Establishing a strong therapeutic alliance with the patient can help GPs promote a lifelong approach to secondary prevention measures.
  • Patient education about coronary heart disease, personalised interventions and strategies such as referral to a cardiac rehabilitation program can improve adherence to secondary prevention measures.
  • Increased use of Medicare chronic disease management items might support more systematic care for people living with cardiovascular disease.

    Picture credit: © Vege/

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