Recent results from clinical trials suggest physicians should intensify their treatment of established risk factors in certain patients with known cardiovascular disease. The hope is that more aggressive secondary prevention will help reduce the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke.
The trial results prompted the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) to release updated guidelines calling for more aggressive risk-reduction therapies for patients with established coronary and other atherosclerotic vascular disease, including peripheral arterial disease, atherosclerotic aortic disease, and carotid artery disease (Smith SC Jr et al. Circulation. 2006;113:2363-2372; J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006;47:2130-2139). In addition to addressing standard risk factors, the guidelines also point to the underappreciated need for routine influenza vaccination in these patients.
Mitka M. Guidelines Update: Aggressively Target Cardiovascular Risk Factors. JAMA. 2006;296(1):30-31. doi:10.1001/jama.296.1.30