The aim of the current study was to assess the relationship between classic cardiovascular risk factors and risk of not only the first recurrent atherosclerotic cardiovascular event, but also the total number of non-fatal and fatal cardiovascular events in patients with recently clinically manifest cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Prospective cohort study.
Tertiary care centre.
7239 patients with a recent first manifestation of CVD from the prospective UCC-SMART (Utrecht Cardiovascular Cohort – Second Manifestations of ARTerial disease) cohort study.
Total cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction, stroke, vascular interventions, major limb events and cardiovascular mortality.
During a median follow-up of 8.9 years, 1412 patients had one recurrent cardiovascular event, while 1290 patients had two or more recurrent events, with a total of 5457 cardiovascular events during follow-up. The HRs for the first recurrent event and cumulative event burden using Prentice-Williams-Peterson models, respectively, were 1.36 (95% CI 1.25 to 1.48) and 1.26 (95% CI 1.17 to 1.35) for smoking, 1.14 (95% CI 1.11 to 1.18) and 1.09 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.12) for non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and 1.05 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.07) and 1.04 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.06) for systolic blood pressure per 10 mm Hg.
In a cohort of patients with established CVD, systolic blood pressure, non-HDL cholesterol and current smoking are important risk factors for not only the first, but also subsequent recurrent events during follow-up. Recurrent event analysis captures the full cumulative burden of CVD in patients.

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