Study: Surgery offers chance to adjust vascular medications

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Patients who are treated at sites with longer participation in the VQI had better medical management and this was associated with higher survival rates, according to a new study reported in the April 2015 issue of The Journal of Vascular Surgery. Further, surgery at a VQI site may relate to optimized medications with the goal to improve survival rates.

Led by Dr. Randall R. De Martino, a team of researchers studied medical management for vascular surgery patients at sites participating in the Vascular Quality Initiative and associated patient survival rates.

Two key outcomes were noted: Site participation in VQI is associated with improved use of antiplatelets and statin medication for that site’s patients undergoing vascular procedures; and, treatment with AP and statins is associated with a 14 percent survival advantage for patients at five years postsurgery.

“Medical therapy for patients with vascular disease remains important for their long-term prevention of cardiovascular events,” noted Dr. De Martino. “The surgical encounter provides an excellent opportunity to ensure that appropriate medications are prescribed. As our data demonstrate, many patients remain medically undertreated and this is associated with worse long-term survival. Importantly, participating in a quality improvement initiative, like the VQI, is associated with improvements in medical management. This highlights how we can use a quality improvement collaborative to improve care for our patients.”

Since up to 75 percent of patients with peripheral arterial disease will ultimately die of cardiovascular causes, it seems that medical management is a strong tool to ensure patient survival.

Additional authors are Drs. Andrew W. Hoel, Adam W. Beck, Jens Eldrup-Jorgensen, John W. Hallett, Gilbert R. Upchurch, Jack L. Cronenwett, and Philip P. Goodney.

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