Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Various studies have confirmed that individuals of SE Asian descent have a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease compared with other ethnicities due to higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, insulin resistance, central obesity, dyslipidemias (lower high-density lipoprotein, increased lipoprotein[a], higher triglyceride levels), increased thrombotic tendency (increased plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and decreased tissue plasminogen activator levels), and decreased levels of physical activity
Hypertension, in particular has become one of the leading causes of mortality among Asians. Projected figures suggest that in Indo-Asians hypertension prevalence will increase from 16.3% to 19.5% between 1995 and 2025. Despite increased prevalence of hypertension among Indo-Asians, the majority of cases remain undetected and poorly managed.
Disparities in health system utilization are associated with a high prevalence of hypertension leading to increased numbers of patients presenting with target organ damage such as stroke, heart failure and renal insufficiency. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that high-risk ethnic groups have access barriers to mainstream programs and may benefit from targeted and culture specific interventions. Given that Indo-Asians represent an increasing proportion of the Canadian population and are at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and experience health care access barriers, the initiation of an tailored risk factor screening and intervention program is timely.
The collaborative effort between the target communities and the healthcare system provides an unique opportunity to develop and evaluate a sustainable screening, early detection and intervention program in hypertension and other CVD risk factors, tailored to meet the unique cultural needs of the target population. Only an all encompassing program of this scope will reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases in this highly susceptible population.
The project objectives are as follows:
- To increase Indo-Central Asian community awareness of cardiovascular risk factors
- To develop and implement a community based, culturally sensitive and self-sustaining cardiovascular risk factor screening and management program.
- To increase early detection of modifiable, undiagnosed, and uncontrolled cardiovascular risk factors
- Using a partnership-based, culturally appropriate and integrated approach, provide a sustainable and cost effective intervention program for optimal management of risk factors in the Indo-Central Asian population utilizing existing health region and community resources.
- To develop a continuum of care that addresses the needs of Indo-Central Asian Calgarians and that tailors the intensity of intervention to the perceived risk
- To validate the "Continuum of Care" process
The project components are as follows:
* Screening sessions: The project will utilize a previously developed Indo-Asian Diabetes Initiative methodology to recruit and train volunteers from the target community. Using standardized interview questions, the following information will be collected: age, gender, family history (first degree relative with premature cardiovascular disease), and other cardiovascular risk factors. Trained volunteers would administer the questions during one to one interviews in English or a common language used by the participant in the community. Blood pressures will be obtained using a validated Bp assessment tool (BpTRU). All those screened that have either high blood pressure (?140/90 or ?130/80 with diabetes) or at least one risk factor (positive family or personal history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, smoker, known elevated cholesterol or on medications for HBP, lipids or diabetes) will then go on to have capillary measurements of random TC/HDL performed by the Cholestech desktop reflometer (Hayward CA).
Based on health history and assessments obtained, the total CVD risk (coronary heart disease and stroke) will be predicted using the Joint British Societies Cardiovascular Disease Risk Prediction Chart. Those participants found to be high risk (>20 % 10 year CVD risk) will be referred, via the family physician, to a HRIC clinic. Those at moderate or low risk (?20% 10 year CVD risk) will be referred to the CDM program. All participants that are screened will receive the adapted and culturally sensitive versions of the 2007 Canadian Public Recommendations education booklet (adapted by Blood Pressure Canada) that includes hypertension, dietary, alcohol and smoking cessation information.
Intervention: All qualifying participants will be assessed by a volunteer pharmacist, nurse, physician, or other health care professional who will review the participants' current medications and provide education around adherence and adverse events. The completed assessments and the predicted risk scores will be reviewed with the participant. The predicted risk score will facilitate the participant's enrolment in the appropriate follow up program. Participants will be re-directed back to the family physician for BP monitoring and medication initiation or adjustment as required. Participants will be provided with a "Health Report" that will include their current medications, blood pressures, TC and HDL results, predicted CVD risk score and follow-up instructions. Interventions will be as follows:
- High CVD Risk Intervention: Individuals at high risk will be referred to a High Risk Intervention Clinic for full cardiovascular evaluation. This includes a history and physician exam by an Internal Medicine Specialist or alternate specialist with similar cardiovascular training and experience An ECG will be performed and likely either a stress test or nuclear cardiology study. Risk factors will be aggressively managed.
- Low and Moderate CVD Risk Intervention: Individuals at low or moderate risk will be referred to a convenient and culturally appropriate CDM community program (culturally sensitive education and physical activity programs).
- Follow-up Sessions: Consenting participants will be contacted by a project volunteer and be invited back for reassessment one year after initial evaluation. Reassessment will entail a work-up similar to that conducted during the initial screening session.