Patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease are at high risk of death after the first cardiovascular event, shows a Finnish real-world evidence study

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of disability and premature death worldwide. Real-world evidence (RWE) study showed a high risk of cardiovascular events or death, especially six months after the first event. Real-world data (RWD) from the data lakes of Finnish University Hospitals was utilized for this study. 

Large numbers of patients live with a cardiovascular disease and thus are at risk of having a cardiovascular event: myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, ischemic stroke, and transient ischemic attack. Survivors of each cardiovascular event are at risk of a more severe recurrent event. Over 20,000 patients experience an acute coronary event each year in Finland, and over 10,000 patients die from coronary heart disease. 

Amgen conducted this RWE-study on recurrent cardiovascular events in collaboration with Medaffcon, BC Platforms, and the clinical experts. A study published in the journal Clinical Cardiology utilized RWD from the data lakes of three Finnish National University Hospitals.  

The study showed a high risk of a second cardiovascular event in patients with an incident atherosclerotic cardiovascular event. In the five years following the first cardiovascular event, 41.5 percent of patients died or survived the second event. However, death was the most common event following the first cardiovascular event. In addition, the number of deaths and recurrences was particularly high in the six months following the first event. 

Cerebral infarction was the most common first cardiovascular event. The recurrent event was usually the same type as the previous one, i.e., of cerebrovascular or cardiac cluster. 


“Real-World Data provides evidence of what is happening for the patients in real-life clinical setting, which actually may differ from the results obtained from clinical trials.” 


In this study, the risk of death after the second cardiovascular event was higher than reported in previous clinical trials, indicating the importance of studies utilizing RWD. RWE studies include the entire patient population without any selection criterion, which may differ from clinical trial setting. 

The increased risk of recurrence and death underlines the importance of early and effective secondary prevention in the treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. 


Study background

The study utilized patient data stored in the data lakes of three Finnish National University Hospitals: the Hospital District of Southwest Finland, Northern Savo, and Helsinki and Uusimaa. The study included 48,405 patients who had their first cardiovascular event between 2012 and 2016 and were followed until the end of study (2016) or until death. The risk and risk factors of recurrent cardiovascular events or death and time from the first cardiovascular event to recurrence were assessed. 


Read more: 

Cardiovascular event rate and death in high-risk secondary prevention patient cohort in Finland: A registry study, Toppila I, Ukkola-Vuoti L, Perttilä J, Törnwall O, Sinisalo J, Hartikainen J, Lehto S. Clinical Cardiology. 2022 Apr;45(4):342-351. doi: 10.1002/clc.23814. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35289408/



Find more RWE study summaries here.