Patient and GP attitudes to taking medication to prevent cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a large cause of premature death in the UK. There are now effective drugs to prevent CVD and guidelines recommend their use. Patients do not always choose to accept preventative medication and GPs do not always offer it even when patients are at high risk of developing CVD.
The purpose of this study was to identify and explore the attitudes of patients and GPs in Birmingham towards preventative medication for CVD after they had received detailed information about the benefits and risks of these drugs.
We interviewed 13 GPs and 17 patients about their views and experiences and analysed the accounts given by GPs and patients to look for consistent themes that came through.
Many patients and GPs had significant concerns about taking preventative medication preferring to make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk. Despite these concerns, patients stated they would take medication if it was recommended by the doctor.