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International Angiology 2008 August;27(4):274-80

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Does the preventive effect of different drugs depend on location of the atherosclerotic process?

Poredos P., Jeîovnik M. K.

Department of Vascular Diseases, University Medical Center Ljubljana, Slovenia


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Atherosclerosis can affect nearly any part of the arterial system. Therefore, it is considered as a generalized disease. As most probably similar or identical etiopathogenetic mechanisms are involved in different atherosclerotic diseases, a different effect of treatment of risk factors on atherosclerotic lesions in different parts of the vascular system is expected. Until now, great emphasis has been placed on the aggressive pharmacological management of coronary artery disease, less attention has been devoted to the management of cerebrovascular and much less to peripheral arterial disease, despite their significant morbidity and mortality. The data from recent trials have indicated that treatment of patients with antiplatelet drugs, statins, antihypertensive and antidiabetic drugs prevents the progression of coronary atherosclerosis, reduces cardiovascular events and improves prognosis of coronary patients. Subgroup analyses from large studies have also shown that treatment of risk factors for atherosclerosis with drugs reduces cardiovascular events and improves prognosis of cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial occlusive disease. Although some studies indicate that the effects of distinct preventive procedures are to some extent dependent on the locations of atherosclerotic disease, it seems that the success of preventive measures is mostly related to the progression of the disease or the risk of treated population and not on the treated vascular bed.

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