Background — Clinical guidelines emphasize medical therapy as the initial approach to the management of patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). However, the extent to which medical therapy is applied before and after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in contemporary clinical practice is uncertain. The authors evaluated medication use for patients with stable CAD undergoing PCI, and assessed whether the COURAGE study altered medication use in the Canadian healthcare system.
Methods and Results — A population-based cohort of 23 680 older patients >65 years old) with stable CADundergoing PCI in Ontario between 2003 and 2010 was assembled. Optimal medical therapy (OMT) was defined as prescription for a β-blocker, statin, and either angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blocker in the 90 days before PCI, and the same medications plus thienopyridine 90 days following PCI. Prior to PCI, 8023 (33.9%) patients were receiving OMT, 11 891 (50.2%) were on suboptimal therapy, and 3766 (15.9%) were not prescribed any medications of interest. There was significant improvement in medical therapy following PCI (OMT: 11 149 [47.1%], suboptimal therapy: 11 591 [48.9%], and none: 940 [4.0%], P<0.001). Utilization rate of OMT reduced significantly after the publication of COURAGE (34.9% before versus 32.8% after, P<0.001). Similarly, the rate of OMT following PCI was lower in the period after publication of COURAGE (47.3% before versus 46.9% after, P<0.001).
Conclusions — OMT was prescribed in about 1 in 3 patients prior to PCI and less than half after PCI. In contrast to the anticipated impact of COURAGE, we found lower rates of medication use in PCI patients after its publication.
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Coronary disease/Myocardial infarction