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Open Access Research article

Quality of cardiovascular disease care in Ontario’s primary care practices: a cross sectional study examining differences in guideline adherence by patient sex

Kiyuri Naicker12, Clare Liddy13*, Jatinderpreet Singh1, Monica Taljaard24 and William Hogg13

Author Affiliations

1 Bruyère Research Institute, C.T. Lamont Primary Health Care Research Centre, 43 Bruyère St, Annex E, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5C8, Canada

2 Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8 M5, Canada

3 Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa, 43 Bruyère St., Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5C8, Canada

4 Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Civic Campus, 1053 Carling Avenue, Admin Services Building, ASB 2-004, Civic Box 693, Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4E9, Canada

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BMC Family Practice 2014, 15:123  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-123

Published: 18 June 2014

Abstract

Background

Women are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease, often experiencing poorer outcomes following a cardiovascular event. Evidence points to inequities in processes of care as a potential contributing factor. This study sought to determine whether any sex differences exist in adherence to process of care guidelines for cardiovascular disease within primary care practices in Ontario, Canada.

Methods

This is a secondary analysis of pooled cross-sectional baseline data collected through a larger quality improvement initiative known as the Improved Delivery of Cardiovascular Care (IDOCC). Chart abstraction was performed for 4,931 patients from 84 primary care practices in Eastern Ontario who had, or were at high risk of, cardiovascular disease. Measures examining adherence to guidelines associated with nine areas of cardiovascular care (coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), stroke/transient ischemic attack, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, smoking cessation, and weight management) were collected. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate sex differences, adjusting for age, physician remuneration, and rurality.

Results

Women were significantly less likely to have their lipid profiles taken (OR = 1.17, 95% CI 1.03-1.33), be prescribed lipid lowering medication for dyslipidemia (OR = 1.54, 95% CI 1.20-1.97), and to be prescribed ASA following stroke (OR = 1.56, 95% CI 1.39-1.75). Women with PVD were significantly less likely to be prescribed ACE inhibitors and/or angiotensin receptor blockers (OR = 1.74, 95% CI 1.25-2.41) and lipid lowering medications (OR = 1.95, 95% CI 1.46-2.62) or ASA (OR = 1.59, 95% CI 1.43-1.78). However, women were more likely to have two blood pressure measurements taken and to be referred to a dietician or weight loss program. Male patients with diabetes were less likely to be prescribed glycemic control medication (OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.74-0.86).

Conclusions

Sex disparities exist in the quality of cardiovascular care in Canadian primary care practices, which tend to favour men. Women with PVD have a particularly high risk of not receiving appropriate medications. Our findings indicate that improvements in care delivery should be made to address these issues, particularly with regard to the prescribing of recommended medications for women, and preventive measures for men.

Keywords:
Sex equity; Primary care; Cardiovascular disease; Guideline adherence