Global cardiovascular risk evaluation and stratification is essential to identify high-risk hypertensive patients. However, it is uncertain how often the strategy is executed in real clinical practice. We sought to evaluate whether global risk evaluation might change the risk stratification in Korean hypertensive patients treated by primary care physicians. A total of 3109 hypertensive patients were analyzed. The mean age was 62.3±11.3 years, and 1502 (48.3%) of the participants were male. The global risk evaluation revealed that 1862 patients (59.9%) were classified as having high- or the very high-risk. High-risk patients were older and obese, and had a male predominance, a longer duration of hypertension and a low HDL-cholesterol. The systolic and diastolic blood pressures (BP) were significantly higher in the high-risk group (P<0.0001). However, combination antihypertensive therapy was more common in the low-risk group (P=0.0265). A total of 2155 patients (69.3%) were reclassified into the higher or the lower-risk group by performing additional tests. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, age, body mass index, BP, metabolic syndrome, left ventricular hypertrophy and chronic kidney disease were independent factors associated with risk reclassification with global risk evaluation. In conclusion, although the majority of hypertensive patients treated by the primary care physicians were in the high- or very high-risk group, their risk levels were not appropriately stratified. However, simple additional tests enhanced the risk evaluation of hypertensive patients. Accordingly, comprehensive cardiovascular risk stratification should be undertaken in all hypertensive patients.
- global risk evaluation
- risk stratification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine