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Cardiovascular Disease – Secondary prevention

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Cardiovascular Disease – Secondary prevention

People with confirmed cardiovascular disease (CVD) will often have many existing risk factors that put them at risk of further cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke. There is substantial evidence that reducing risk factors through both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods reduces the risk of further cardiovascular events.1

During the last ten years we have seen a reduction in 30-day mortality following an MI from 13% in 2003 to 8% in 2011.2 This has been due to changes in acute management and the application of secondary prevention measures. Secondary prevention encompasses lifestyle changes, drug therapy and medical interventions.2,3

This resource, consisting of five assessment questions at intermediate level, tests your understanding of secondary prevention of CVD, the drugs used and the role of cardiac rehabilitation. Complete the resource, including reading the featured articles and undertaking some or all of the activities, to obtain a certificate for one hour of continuing professional development to include in your annual portfolio.

Aims and objectives

On completion of this module you should have an understanding of:

  • The factors that would be considered for secondary prevention of CVD
  • Drugs used in the secondary prevention of CVD
  • Recommended lifestyle and behaviour changes
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Secondary prevention strategies for Chronic kidney disease and other presentations of CVD

References/Recommended reading

1. European Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice. European Heart Journal 2012: 33, 1635-1701

2. Cardiovascular Disease Outcome Strategy: Improving Outcomes for people with or at risk of cardiovascular disease. Department of Health, 2012

3. JBS 3. Joint British Societies guidelines on prevention of cardiovascular disease in clinical practice. Heart 2014;100.ii1-ii67.doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2014-305693 [add URL]

4. NHS Health Check Programme, Best Practice Guidance, 2013 available from

Date of preparation: March 2014

Review date: March 2015