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1.  Lack of adherence to hypertension treatment guidelines among GPs in southern Sweden-A case report-based survey 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:34.
Background
General practitioners (GPs) often fail to correctly adhere to guidelines for the treatment of hypertension. The reasons for this are unclear, but could be related to lack of knowledge in assessing individual patients' cardiovascular disease risk. Our aim was to investigate how GPs in southern Sweden adhere to clinical guidelines for the treatment of hypertension when major cardiovascular risk factors are taken into consideration.
Method
A questionnaire with five genuine cases of hypertension with different cardiovascular risk profiles was sent to a random sample of GPs in southern Sweden (n = 109) in order to investigate the attitude towards blood pressure (BP) treatment when major cardiovascular risk factors were present.
Results
In general, GPs who responded tended to focus on the absolute target BP rather than assessing the entire cardiovascular risk factor profile. Thus, cases with the highest risk of cardiovascular disease were not treated accordingly. However, there was also a tendency to overtreat the lowest risk individuals. Furthermore, the BP levels for initiating pharmacological treatment varied widely (systolic BP 140-210 mmHg). ACE inhibitors (70%) were the most common first choice of pharmacological treatment.
Conclusion
In this study, GPs in Southern Sweden were suggesting, for different cases, either under- or overtreatment in relation to current guidelines for treatment of hypertension. On reason may be that they failed to correctly assess individual cardiovascular risk factor profiles.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-34
PMCID: PMC3391982  PMID: 22536853
Hypertension; Adherence; Guidelines; Treatment; Primary care
2.  Primary aldosteronism among newly diagnosed and untreated hypertensive patients in a Swedish primary care area 
Objective
To evaluate the prevalence of primary aldosteronism (PA) in newly diagnosed and untreated hypertensive patients in primary care using the aldosterone/renin ratio (ARR), and to assess clinical and biochemical characteristics in patients with high and normal ARR.
Design
Patient survey study.
Setting and subjects
A total of 200 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed and untreated hypertension from six primary health care centres in Sweden were included.
Main outcome measures
ARR was calculated from serum aldosterone and plasma renin concentrations. The cut-off level for ARR was 65. Patients with an increased ARR were considered for confirmatory testing with the fludrocortisone suppression test (FST), followed by adrenal computed tomographic radiology (CT) and adrenal venous sampling (AVS).
Results
Of 200 patients, 36 patients had an ARR > 65. Of these 36 patients, 11 patients had an incomplete aldosterone inhibition during FST. Three patients were diagnosed with an aldosterone producing adenoma (APA) and eight with bilateral adrenal hyperplasia (BHA). Except for moderately lower level of P-K in patients with an ARR > 65 and in patients with PA, there were no biochemical or clinical differences found among hypertensive patients with PA compared with patients without PA.
Conclusion
Eleven of 200 evaluated patients (5.5%) were considered to have PA. The diagnosis of PA should therefore be considered in newly diagnosed hypertensive subjects and screening for the diagnosis is warranted.
doi:10.3109/02813432.2011.554015
PMCID: PMC3347934  PMID: 21323498
Aldosterone; aldosterone to renin ratio; family practice; hypertension; primary aldosteronism; renin
3.  Barriers to adherence to hypertension guidelines among GPs in southern Sweden: A survey 
Objective
To evaluate barriers to adherence to hypertension guidelines among publicly employed general practitioners (GPs).
Design
Questionnaire-based survey distributed to GPs in 24 randomly selected primary care centres in the Region of Skåne in southern Sweden.
Subjects
A total of 109 GPs received a self-administered questionnaire and 90 of them responded.
Main outcome measures
Use of risk assessment programmes. Reasons to postpone or abstain from pharmacological treatment for the management of hypertension.
Results
Reported managing of high blood pressure (BP) varied. In all, 53% (95% CI 42–64%) of the GPs used risk assessment programmes and nine out of 10 acknowledged blood pressure target levels. Only one in 10 did not inform the patients about these levels. The range for immediate initiating pharmacological treatment was a systolic BP 140–220 (median 170) mmHg and diastolic BP 90–110 (median 100) mmHg. One-third (32%; 95% CI 22–42%) of the GPs postponed or abstained from pharmacological treatment of hypertension due to a patient's advanced age. No statistically significant associations were observed between GPs’ gender, professional experience (i.e. in terms of specialist family medicine and by number of years in practice), and specific reasons to postpone or abstain from pharmacological treatment of hypertension.
Conclusion
These data suggest that GPs accept higher blood pressure levels than recommended in clinical guidelines. Old age of the patient seems to be an important barrier among GPs when considering pharmacological treatment for the management of hypertension.
doi:10.1080/02813430802202111
PMCID: PMC3409603  PMID: 18609250
Barriers; family practice; guidelines; hypertension; primary care; survey
4.  Cadmium-Induced Effects on Bone in a Population-Based Study of Women 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2006;114(6):830-834.
High cadmium exposure is known to cause bone damage, but the association between low-level cadmium exposure and osteoporosis remains to be clarified. Using a population-based women’s health survey in southern Sweden [Women’s Health in the Lund Area (WHILA)] with no known historical cadmium contamination, we investigated cadmium-related effects on bone in 820 women (53–64 years of age). We measured cadmium in blood and urine and lead in blood, an array of markers of bone metabolism, and forearm bone mineral density (BMD). Associations were evaluated in multiple linear regression analysis including information on the possible confounders or effect modifiers: weight, menopausal status, use of hormone replacement therapy, age at menarche, alcohol consumption, smoking history, and physical activity. Median urinary cadmium was 0.52 μg/L adjusted to density (0.67 μg/g creatinine). After multivariate adjustment, BMD, parathyroid hormone, and urinary deoxypyridinoline (U-DPD) were adversely associated with concentrations of urinary cadmium (p < 0.05) in all subjects. These associations persisted in the group of never-smokers, which had the lowest cadmium exposure (mainly dietary). For U-DPD, there was a significant interaction between cadmium and menopause (p = 0.022). Our results suggest negative effects of low-level cadmium exposure on bone, possibly exerted via increased bone resorption, which seemed to be intensified after menopause. Based on the prevalence of osteoporosis and the low level of exposure, the observed effects, although slight, should be considered as early signals of potentially more adverse health effects.
doi:10.1289/ehp.8763
PMCID: PMC1480481  PMID: 16759980
biochemical bone markers; bone mineral density; cadmium; lead; osteoporosis; women
5.  Tubular and Glomerular Kidney Effects in Swedish Women with Low Environmental Cadmium Exposure 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2005;113(11):1627-1631.
Cadmium is a well-known nephrotoxic agent in food and tobacco, but the exposure level that is critical for kidney effects in the general population is not defined. Within a population-based women’s health survey in southern Sweden (Women’s Health in the Lund Area, WHILA), we investigated cadmium exposure in relation to tubular and glomerular function, from 1999 through early 2000 in 820 women (71% participation rate) 53–64 years of age. Multiple linear regression showed cadmium in blood (median, 0.38 μg/L) and urine (0.52 μg/L; density adjusted = 0.67 μg/g creatinine) to be significantly associated with effects on renal tubules (as indicated by increased levels of human complex-forming protein and N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase in urine), after adjusting for age, body mass index, blood lead, diabetes, hypertension, and regular use of nephrotoxic drugs. The associations remained significant even at the low exposure in women who had never smoked. We also found associations with markers of glomerular effects: glomerular filtration rate and creatinine clearance. Significant effects were seen already at a mean urinary cadmium level of 0.6 μg/L (0.8 μg/g creatinine). Cadmium potentiated diabetes-induced effects on kidney. In conclusion, tubular renal effects occurred at lower cadmium levels than previously demonstrated, and more important, glomerular effects were also observed. Although the effects were small, they may represent early signs of adverse effects, affecting large segments of the population. Subjects with diabetes seem to be at increased risk.
doi:10.1289/ehp.8033
PMCID: PMC1310929  PMID: 16263522
cadmium; diabetes; environmental exposure; glomerular effects; hypertension; kidney; lead; population-based; tubular effects; women
6.  The influence of calcium and magnesium in drinking water and diet on cardiovascular risk factors in individuals living in hard and soft water areas with differences in cardiovascular mortality 
BMC Public Health  2003;3:21.
Background
The role of water hardness as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease has been widely investigated and evaluated as regards regional differences in cardiovascular disease. This study was performed to evaluate the relation between calcium and magnesium in drinking water and diet and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in individuals living in hard and soft water areas with considerable differences in cardiovascular mortality.
Methods
A random sample of 207 individuals living in two municipalities characterised by differences in cardiovascular mortality and water hardness was invited for an examination including a questionnaire about health, social and living conditions and diet. Intake of magnesium and calcium was calculated from the diet questionnaire with special consideration to the use of local water. Household water samples were delivered by each individual and were analysed for magnesium and calcium.
Results
In the total sample, there were positive correlations between the calcium content in household water and systolic blood pressure (SBP) and negative correlations with s-cholesterol and s-LDL-cholesterol. No correlation was seen with magnesium content in household water to any of the risk factors.
Calcium content in diet showed no correlation to cardiovascular risk factors. Magnesium in diet was positively correlated to diastolic blood pressure (DBP). In regression analyses controlled for age and sex 18.5% of the variation in SBP was explained by the variation in BMI, HbA1c and calcium content in water. Some 27.9% of the variation in s-cholesterol could be explained by the variation in s-triglycerides (TG), and calcium content in water.
Conclusions
This study of individuals living in soft and hard water areas showed significant correlations between the content of calcium in water and major cardiovascular risk factors. This was not found for magnesium in water or calcium or magnesium in diet. Regression analyses indicated that calcium content in water could be a factor in the complexity of relationships and importance of cardiovascular risk factors. From these results it is not possible to conclude any definite causal relation and further research is needed.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-3-21
PMCID: PMC198279  PMID: 12814520

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