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2022 Mar 18

J Am Heart Assoc

Long-Term Cardiovascular Risk and Management of Patients Recorded in Primary Care With Unattributed Chest Pain: An Electronic Health Record Study.


Jordan KP, Rathod-Mistry T, Bailey J, Chen Y, Clarson L, Denaxas S, Hayward RA, Hemingway H, Van Der Windt DA, Mamas MA
J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 Mar 18:e023146.
PMID: 35301875.


Background Most adults presenting with chest pain will not receive a diagnosis and be recorded with unattributed chest pain. The objective was to assess if they have increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those with noncoronary chest pain and determine whether investigations and interventions are targeted at those at highest risk. Methods and Results We used records from general practices in England linked to hospitalization and mortality information. The study population included patients aged 18 years or over with a new record of chest pain with a noncoronary cause or unattributed between 2002 and 2018, and no cardiovascular disease recorded up to 6 months (diagnostic window) afterward. We compared risk of a future cardiovascular event by type of chest pain, adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and alternative explanations for chest pain. We determined prevalence of cardiac diagnostic investigations and preventative medication during the diagnostic window in patients with estimated cardiovascular risk ≥10%. There were 375 240 patients with unattributed chest pain (245 329 noncoronary chest pain). There was an increased risk of cardiovascular events for patients with unattributed chest pain, highest in the first year (hazard ratio, 1.25 [95% CI, 1.21-1.29]), persistent up to 10 years. Patients with unattributed chest pain had consistently increased risk of myocardial infarction over time but no increased risk of stroke. Thirty percent of patients at higher risk were prescribed lipid-lowering medication. Conclusions Patients presenting to primary care with unattributed chest pain are at increased risk of cardiovascular events. Primary prevention to reduce cardiovascular events appears suboptimal in those at higher risk.