Secondary prevention – the gap between evidence and practice

Cardiac disease remains the leading cause of death in Canada. A significant portion of cardiac health care resources are expended on acute interventions such as clot-busting drugs, angioplasty and bypass surgery. However, there is a lack of research on the use of proven strategies – known as secondary prevention – to prevent patients from experiencing subsequent coronary events such as a heart attack. Dr. Karin Humphries is a leading investigator in the area of cardiac health outcomes and the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Humphries is studying how BC patients with heart disease are monitored and how many are using aspirin, beta-blockers and cholesterol-lowering drugs as part of their efforts to reduce their risk of further coronary events. Eventually, she hopes to design a clinical trial to assess new approaches to increase the use of secondary prevention strategies.