Cholesterol lowering drugs; Statins, the most commonly used effective lipid-lowering drugs, are significantly underutilized to treat lipid abnormalities in patients with and at risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), according to a retrospective study of more than 280,000 patients in Alberta, Canada. Investigators report in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, published by Elsevier, that only two-thirds of these patients were receiving moderate/high-intensity statins, and of the ones treat; so more than a third are under-treated based on the fact that they did not achieve recommended low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels at follow-up testing.
Cholesterol Lowering Drugs
“Despite the known benefits of statins, a significant treatment gap persists in patients with ASCVD or at high risk of developing ASCVD. We need to conduct additional research to better understand contemporary management of these patients,” said lead investigator Guanmin Chen, Ph.D., MD, MPH, Medlior Health Outcomes Research Ltd; Department of Community Health Sciences and Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta; and O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Among the individuals identify with ASCVD during the study period, 78% an index LDL-C test and 66% were prescribe lipid-lowering therapy. Most patients receiving any lipid-lowering therapy were on moderate-/high-intensity statins. Failure to achieve guideline recommend levels of LDL-C was common among patients using moderate- or high-intensity statin therapy; and 40% of patients did not adhere to their treatment regimens.
“Give the remarkable treatment gap identify in these patients at-risk for ASCVD; so the current study results may help to facilitate new strategies to reduce the number of untreated or under-treat patients,” comment Dr. Chen. “Additional research is need to assess the reasons for the observe treatment gaps and their effects on morbidity, mortality, and other important outcomes; such as health relate quality of life, functional status, as well as healthcare resource utilization and costs.”
Corresponding statin treatment
The authors recommend several strategies to help reduce this treatment gap; standardizing care through ASCVD-specific admission orders; implementing risk classification tools; also corresponding statin treatment recommendations in lab orders; electronic medical record review; and a follow-up lipid profile at the time of discharge. US clinical guidelines have also recently highlight new lipid-lowering therapies, including PCSK9 inhibitors, as an option for lipid management; so among very high risk ASCVD patients to lower risk of cardiovascular events.
“This study show in a large contemporary Canadian population; so that statins are under use to lower cholesterol. Increasing uptake of statins could drastically reduce the number of heart attacks, strokes; also death in patients with establish vascular disease,” explain co-investigator Todd Anderson, MD, Director, Libin Cardiovascular Institute; Professor & Head, Department of Cardiac Sciences; Professor in the Department of Medicine, Merck Chair, Cardiovascular Research, University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine, Calgary, AB, Canada.
So Low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is sometimes called “bad” cholesterol; because a high LDL level contributes to a build-up of plaque in the arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis. Measuring LDL-C in the blood is an important indicator in the development and management of ASCVD. The most commonly use medication to treat high LDL-C is a statin, which helps reduce LDL levels by interfering with cholesterol production in the liver.