Original Article | Volume 16 Number 2: 0 | 08 Jun 2021

Gender disparity in the prescription of secondary prevention medications in a Malaysian primary care clinic

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Despite the proven benefit of secondary prevention medications (SPMs), their utilisation remains suboptimal in many countries. This study aimed to assess the use of SPMs in a Malaysian primary care clinic and factors associated with it.
Methods: A retrospective review of electronic medical records was conducted to assess the prescription of SPMs among patients with coronary artery disease who attended the clinic between 1st January 2018 and 31st December 2018. Prescriptions of SPMs were documented in numbers and percentages. Multiple logistic regressions were used to analyse factors associated with the prescription of SPMs.
Results: Of the 662 patients included in the study, 99.1% were prescribed statins, 97% antiplatelets, 81.7% angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitors or angiotensin Ⅱ receptor blockers (ARBs), and 78.7% beta-blockers. Male patients were more likely to be prescribed statins (OR = 8.584, 95% CI: 1.431 – 51.510) and antiplatelets (OR = 6.818, 95% CI: 2.294 – 20.257). Another significant factor for antiplatelets prescription was having diabetes (OR = 3.318, 95% CI: 1.148 – 9.590). Having hypertension was associated with ACE-inhibitors or ARBs prescription (OR = 4.008, 95% CI: 2.522 – 6.370).
Conclusion: Although the majority of patients received SPMs, there were significant disparities for some SPMs prescriptions among female patients. As these medications are widely available in the Malaysian primary care setting, steps should be taken to ensure that these medications are prescribed equally for all eligible patients.

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