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Patients with cardiovascular diseases are common in the emergency department (ED), and continuity of care following that visit is needed to ensure that they receive evidence-based diagnostic tests and therapy. We examined the frequency of follow-up care after discharge from an ED with a new diagnosis of one of three cardiovascular diseases.
We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients with a new diagnosis of heart failure, atrial fibrillation, or hypertension, who were discharged from 157 non-pediatric EDs in Ontario, Canada, between April 2007 and March 2014. We determined the frequency of follow-up care with a family physician, cardiologist, or internist within seven and 30 days, and assessed the association of patient, emergency physician, and family physician characteristics with obtaining follow-up care using cause-specific hazard modeling.
There were 41,485 qualifying ED visits. Just under half (47.0%) had follow-up care within seven days, with 78.7% seen by 30 days. Patients with serious comorbidities (renal failure, dementia, COPD, stroke, coronary artery disease, and cancer) had a lower adjusted hazard of obtaining 7-day follow-up care (HRs 0.77-0.95) and 30-day follow-up care (HR 0.76-0.95). The only emergency physician characteristic associated with follow-up care was 5-year emergency medicine specialty training (HR 1.11). Compared to those whose family physician was remunerated via a primarily fee-for-service model, patients were less likely to obtain 7-day follow-up care if their family physician was remunerated via three types of capitation models (HR 0.72, 0.81, 0.85) or via traditional fee-for-service (HR 0.91). Findings were similar for 30-day follow-up care.
Only half of patients discharged from an ED with a new diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and hypertension were seen within a week of being discharged. Patients with significant comorbidities were less likely to obtain follow-up care, as were those with a family physician who was remunerated via primarily capitation methods.
Polypharmacy is growing in Canada, along with adverse drug events and drug-related costs. Part of the solution may be deprescribing, the planned and supervised process of dose reduction or stopping of medications that may be causing harm or are no longer providing benefit. Deprescribing can be a complex process, involving the intersection of patients, health care providers, and organizational and policy factors serving as enablers or barriers. This article describes the justification, theoretical foundation, and process for developing a Canadian Deprescribing Network (CaDeN), a network of individuals, organizations, and decision-makers committed to promoting the appropriate use of medications and non-pharmacological approaches to care, especially among older people in Canada. CaDeN will deploy multiple levels of action across multiple stakeholder groups simultaneously in an ecological approach to health system change. CaDeN proposes a unique model that might be applied both in national settings and for different transformational challenges in health care.
Pergolide is an ergot derived dopamine agonist that is widely used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Studies have found an association between pergolide and valvular heart abnormalities although there is still much to be learned about the clinical significance of the valvular changes, who is at risk, and whether there is duration of exposure effect.
To assess the long term risk of hospital admissions for valvular heart disease (VHD) or congestive heart failure (CHF, a clinically overt outcome of VHD) in new users of pergolide compared to new users of levodopa. The secondary objective was to assess whether there are any characteristics that can predict who is at higher risk of developing this outcome.
Retrospective, population-based cohort study.
Ontario residents aged 66 and older, newly started on treatment with either pergolide or levodopa.
Admission to hospital with the most responsible diagnosis of congestive heart failure or valvular heart disease.
The risk for admission for valvular heart disease or congestive heart failure were higher in those with 1-4 years exposure to pergolide compared with no exposure to pergolide (VHD: hazard ratio 2.4, p = 0.04; CHF: hazard ratio 1.6, p =0.02). No such pattern was found with exposure to levodopa.
Our study demonstrates that treatment with pergolide is associated with a higher risk of hospital admission for valvular heart disease or congestive heart failure and that this risk is greater in those with 1-4 years exposure than in those with less exposure. We did not find an increased risk beyond four years.
To review the risk of pergolide associated cardiac valvulopathy in patients with Parkinson's disease.
MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. Reference lists were reviewed and librarians were consulted to identify additional trials.
All studies and case reports in the English literature on pergolide and cardiac valvulopathy.
Demographics of patients, study duration, dose and duration of pergolide use, echocardiogram results, length of follow-up, and clinical outcome.
Twenty-two published articles were identified. There were no randomized controlled trials. Follow-up time varied between a few months and four years. Three case reports and four studies (three case control and one observational) assessed 246 patients. Evidence for valvulopathy was found in all studies. Variable methods were used to assess the degree of valvular regurgitation making comparisons between studies difficult. Little clinical correlation is available for echocardiogram results. Variable improvement was shown in the few patients in whom the drug was stopped. There is insufficient data to determine whether dose and duration or other comorbities have an effect on the risk of developing cardiac valvulopathy.
Pergolide therapy is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiac valvulopathy but the true incidence and importance of this remains unknown. Further prospective studies are needed with standardized assessments of echocardiograms.
To provide Canadian physicians and allied health care professionals with the evidence they need to help them make treatment decisions in the management of patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
The full range and quality of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities available to Canadian physicians for the management of dementia.
Improvement in the treatment of dementias, leading to reduced suffering, increased functional capacity and decreased economic burden.
Evidence and values:
The creation of these evidence-based consensus statements involved literature reviews of the subject by the authors; comparison of alternative clinical pathways and description of the methods whereby published data were analyzed; definition of the level of evidence for data in each case; evaluation and revision in a conference setting (involving primary care physicians, neurologists, psychiatrists, geriatricians, psychologists, consumers and other interested parties); insertion of tables showing key variables and data from various studies and tables of data with recommendations; and reassessment by all authors.
Benefits, harms, and costs:
A rational plan for the therapy of dementias is likely to lead to substantial benefits in both human and economic terms.
Treatment decisions should be made taking into account the severity or stage of the disease, the availability of caregivers, the presence of disease affecting other bodily systems and the ability of the subject to pay the cost of the medications. Donepezil is considered to have positive effects upon certain tests of neuropsychological function and may produce some improvement in Alzheimer’s disease of mild to moderate severity as measured by rating scales. Its ability to improve quality of life remains uncertain. No other drug treatments* (apart from symptomatic therapies) are at present approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
These recommendations were created by a writing committee, evaluated and revised at a consensus conference and further reviewed and revised by the writing committee prior to publication.
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