Introduction: The early stages of chronic progressive cardiovascular disease (CVD) generally cause non-specific symptoms that patients often do not spontaneously mention to their general practitioner, and are therefore easily missed. A proactive diagnostic strategy has the potential to uncover these frequently missed early stages, creating an opportunity for earlier intervention. This is of particular importance for chronic progressive CVDs with evidence-based therapies known to improve prognosis, such as ischaemic heart disease, atrial fibrillation and heart failure. Patients with type 2 diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at particularly high risk of developing CVD. In the current study, we will demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of screening these high-risk patients with our early diagnosis strategy, using tools that are readily available in primary care, such as symptom questionnaires (to be filled out by the patients themselves), natriuretic peptide measurement and electrocardiography.
Methods and analysis: The Reviving the Early Diagnosis-CVD trial is a multicentre, cluster randomised diagnostic trial performed in primary care practices across the Netherlands. We aim to include 1300 (2×650) patients who participate in a primary care disease management programme for COPD or type 2 diabetes. Practices will be randomised to the intervention arm (performing the early diagnosis strategy during the routine visits that are part of the disease management programmes) or the control arm (care as usual). The main outcome is the number of newly detected cases with CVDs in both arms, and the subsequent therapies they received. Secondary endpoints include quality of life, cost-effectiveness and the added diagnostic value of family and reproductive history questionnaires and three (novel) biomarkers (high-sensitive troponin-I, growth differentiation factor-15 and suppressor of tumourigenicity 2). Finally newly initiated treatments will be compared in both groups.
Ethics and dissemination: The protocol was approved by the Medical Ethical Committee of the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. Results are expected in 2022 and will be disseminated through international peer-reviewed publications.
Trial registration number NTR7360.
- Adult cardiology
- Chronic airways disease
- Diabetes & endocrinology
- Heart failure
- Ischaemic heart disease
- Primary care