Aims Patients with Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD) are infrequently treated to risk factor targets in current guidelines. We aimed to examine risk factor management and control levels in a large sample of patients with Type 2 diabetes with CHD.
Methods This was an observational study of 1612 patients with first incidence of CHD before 2002, and of 4570 patients with first incidence of CHD before 2005, from the Swedish National Diabetes Register (NDR).
Results In patients with CHD 1–2 years before follow-up, the achievement of cardiovascular risk factor targets (follow-up 2002/follow-up 2005) was: HbA1c < 7%, 47%/54% (P < 0.01); blood pressure ≤ 130/80 mmHg, 31%/40% (P < 0.001); total cholesterol < 4.5 mmol/l, 47%/60% (P < 0.001); and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol < 2.5 mmol/l, 49%/65% (P < 0.001). Use of medication: antihypertensives, 90%/94% (P < 0.01); lipid-lowering drugs, 75%/86% (P < 0.001); and aspirin, 85%/89% (P < 0.05). A high prevalence of adverse lifestyle characteristics prevailed (2002/2005): overweight [body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2], 86%/85%; obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2), 41%/42%; smokers in age group < 65 years, 16–23%/18–19%; as well as waist circumference ≥ 102 cm (men) or ≥ 88 cm (women), 68% in 2005.
Conclusions Patients with a combination of Type 2 diabetes and CHD showed an increased use of lipid-lowering drugs over time, corresponding to improving blood lipid levels. A discrepancy existed between the prevalent use of antihypertensive drugs and the low proportion reaching blood pressure targets. Regretfully, a high prevalence of adverse lifestyle characteristics prevailed. Evidence-based therapy with professional lifestyle intervention and drugs seems urgent for improved quality of secondary prevention in these patients.