Appropriate use of antiplatelets: Is prescription in daily practice influenced by the global cardiovascular risk?

Lara Monesi, Fausto Avanzini, Simona Barlera, Vittorio Caimi, Davide Lauri, Paolo Longoni, Daria Roccatagliata, Massimo Tombesi, Gianni Tognoni, Maria Carla Roncaglioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the appropriate prescription of antiplatelets according to patients' global cardiovascular risk level in everyday practice. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, general practitioners (GPs) identified a random sample of 10% of patients at cardiovascular risk among all subjects coming to the surgery and collected data on cardiovascular risk factors and history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (CVD). GPs were asked to do a physical examination and record the results of laboratory tests to define the global cardiovascular risk. The use of antiplatelet drugs in patients with established CVD and in healthy subjects at high risk of developing symptomatic atherosclerotic disease was evaluated. Results: A total of 162 GPs from all over Italy recruited 3,120 subjects (51% female, mean age 64 years). Of the 949 with an indication for antiplatelet treatment for secondary prevention of CVD, 442 (47%) were receiving it. Among the 2,071 without CVD, 11% were taking an antiplatelet drug. In this group, antiplatelets were prescribed in 6, 10, 16 and 23%, respectively, of patients perceived by GPs to be at mild, moderate, high and very high cardiovascular risk. Conclusions: Prescription of antiplatelets still seems to be far from what is recommended in virtually all patients with a history of CVD. In subjects with cardiovascular risk factors but without CVD antiplatelet prescription increases in relation to global cardiovascular risk but is still low in patients at high or very high risk of cardiovascular events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-601
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


  • Antiplatelet drugs
  • Aspirin
  • General practice
  • Global cardiovascular risk
  • Primary prevention
  • Secondary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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