(HealthDay News) — Comorbid conditions must be considered when applying clinical practice guidelines to the treatment of cardiovascular disease, according to an article published online Sept. 11 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Donna K. Arnett, MSPH, PhD, of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and colleagues from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, reviewed Medicare claims for 2012 and jointly issued a clinical practice guideline addressing common comorbidities in patients with selected cardiovascular conditions. The four cardiovascular conditions selected for analysis were ischemic heart disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.

The researchers found that for patients with ischemic heart disease, the prevalent comorbidities were hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus. For patients with heart failure, atrial fibrillation, or stroke, the most prevalent comorbidities were hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and ischemic heart disease. For patients with dyads or triads of chronic conditions, combinations of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and ischemic heart disease were common.

“Incorporating major comorbidities into future clinical practice guidelines will be challenging; however, this large analysis helps by identifying those comorbidities which are most prevalent,” Arnett said in a statement.

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