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Influence of Patients' Coronary Artery Calcium on Subsequent Medication Use Patterns

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Abstract:

Objectives: To determine whether information on the presence and extent of coronary artery calcium (CAC) is associated with the likelihood of physicians' prescribing preventive therapies. Method: In a longitudinal design, asymptomatic participants (N=510) were evaluated by computed tomography for CAC. Changes to medications were at the discretion of the patient's primary care provider, who received the CT report. Results: In multivariable analysis, the likelihood of patients reporting that their primary care physician prescribed preventive therapies was significantly associated with the presence and extent of CAC. Conclusions: This study suggests that physicians' prescribing practices are influenced by patients' CAC scores obtained via CT.

Keywords: COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY; CORONARY CALCIUM; PHYSICIAN PRESCRIBING PRACTICES; PREVENTIVE THERAPIES

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.36.5.5

Affiliations: 1: San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego, Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health, San Diego, CA, USA. schwartj@rohan.sdsu.edu 2: Division of Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA, USA 3: Division of Nephrology, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Veterans' Affairs Medical Center, San Diego, CA, USA 4: The Cardiovascular Specialists, Hyannis, MA, USA

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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