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Ther Adv Cardiovasc Dis ; 16: 17539447221137170, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2139019


BACKGROUND: Management of high blood pressure (BP) typically requires adherence to medication regimes. However, it is known that the COVID-19 pandemic both interrupted access to some routine prescriptions and changed some patient health behaviours. AIM: This study, therefore, retrospectively investigated prescription reimbursement of cardiovascular (CVD) medicines as a proxy measure for patient adherence and access to medicines during the pandemic. METHODS: A cohort study of all primary care patients in England prescribed CVD medicines. The exposure was to the global pandemic. Prescriptions were compared before and after the pandemic's onset. Statistical variation was the outcome of interest. RESULTS: Descriptive statistics show changes to monthly prescriptions, with wide confidence intervals indicating varying underlying practice. Analysis of variance reveals statistically significant differences for bendroflumethiazide, potassium-sparing diuretics, nicorandil, ezetimibe, ivabradine, ranolazine, colesevelam and midodrine. After the pandemic began (March-October 2020), negative parameters are observed for ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, statins, antiplatelet, antithrombotics, ARBs, loop diuretics, doxazosin, bendroflumethiazide, nitrates and indapamide, indicating decelerating monthly prescription items (statistically significant declines of calcium channel blockers, antithrombotic, adrenoreceptor blockers and diuretics) of CVD medicines within the general population. Many data points are not statistically significant, but fluctuations remain clinically important for the large population of patients taking these medications. CONCLUSION: A concerning decline in uptake of CVD therapies for chronic heart disease was observed. Accessible screening and treatment alongside financial relief on prescription levies are needed. A video abstract is (4 min 51 s) available:

COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Agents , Cardiovascular Diseases , Heart Diseases , Humans , Pandemics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Bendroflumethiazide , Retrospective Studies , Cohort Studies , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists , Cardiovascular Agents/adverse effects , Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis , Cardiovascular Diseases/drug therapy , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Heart Diseases/drug therapy , Diuretics/therapeutic use , Drug Prescriptions