Failure of Guidelines and Consensus Statements to Recommend Follow-up for Chronic Cardiovascular Conditions

Krishna Patel, Camila M. Maestas, Oksana Petrechko, Himabindu Boja, James C. Blankenship

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Many cardiac conditions require long-term clinical follow-up to monitor progression of disease and tolerance and adherence to therapies. Providers are often unsure as to the frequency of clinical follow-up and who should provide the follow-up. In the absence of formal guidance, patients may be seen more frequently than necessary — thereby limiting clinic space for other patients, or not frequently enough, potentially leading to undetected progression of disease. Objectives: To determine the extent to which guidelines (GL)/consensus statements (CS) provide guidance about appropriate follow-up for common cardiovascular conditions. Methods: We identified 31 chronic cardiovascular disease conditions for which long-term (beyond 1 year) follow-up is indicated and used PubMed and professional society websites to identify all relevant GL/CS (n = 33) regarding these chronic cardiac conditions. Results: Of the 31 cardiac conditions reviewed, GL/CS contained no recommendation or vague recommendation for long-term follow-up for 7 of the conditions. Of the 24 conditions with recommendations for follow-up, 3 had recommendations for imaging follow-up only without mention of clinical follow-up. Of the 33 GL/CS reviewed, 17 made any recommendations about long-term follow-up. When recommendations were made regarding follow-up, they were often vague, using terminology such as “as needed”. Conclusions: Half of GL/CS fail to provide recommendations for clinical follow-up of common cardiovascular conditions. Writing groups for GL/CS should adopt a standard of routinely including recommendations for follow-up including specific advice about level of expertise needed (eg, primary care physician, cardiologist), need for imaging or testing, and frequency of follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-138
Number of pages11
JournalHeart and Lung
StatePublished - 1 May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic care
  • cardiovascular conditions
  • consensus statements
  • follow-up
  • guidelines
  • monitoring


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