BACKGROUND: Currently available guidelines suggest that hypolipidemic drugs should be used in subjects at high risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). Very often, however, physicians fail to comply with the targets (total or LDL cholesterol) that are proposed by the Consensus Panels. The aim of this survey was to evaluate the efficacy of a hypocholesterolemic treatment in achieving the therapeutic target according to Adult Treatment Panel II guidelines in a sample of general practitioners from Lombardy, a region of northern Italy. METHODS: Eighty-five general practitioners reported in a standardized manner data on the presence of major and minor coronary risk factors from at least 15 patients from their database for a total of 1275 patients. Treatment targets for LDL cholesterol were 100 mg/dl in patients with existing cardiovascular disease (class I), 130 mg/dl for patients with > or = 2 CHD risk factors (class II), and 160 mg/dl for the others (class III). Results on the efficacy of the therapy were divided into the following categories: 1) to target, 2) failure to reach the target by <or = 30 mg/dl, 3) failure to reach the target by > 30 mg/dl. Data were analyzed by means of the CSS statistical software. RESULTS: Overall 58.2% of the patients were males and the average age of the population was 59.2 +/- 10.1 years; 20.4% were diabetics, 34.5% smokers, 48.8% hypertensives, 16.9% had a previous myocardial infarction, 14.9% were suffering of stable angina, and 8.1% had undergone coronary artery bypass grafting and/or coronary angioplasty. Moreover 33.9% had a positive family history for CHD. Class I patients were 31.7% of the population, class II 52.9%, and class III 15.4%. Plasma lipid levels before treatment were on average 294 +/- 37 mg/dl for total cholesterol, 211 +/- 37 mg/dl for LDL cholesterol, 45 +/- 16 mg/dl for HDL cholesterol, and 195 +/- 104 mg/dl for plasma triglycerides. Of the patients 78.8% received dietary counseling, while 94.7% received hypolipidemic treatment (89.9% were only on statins). The average post-treatment value for total cholesterol was 225 +/- 33 mg/dl (-23%), LDL cholesterol 145 +/- 34 mg/dl (-31%), HDL cholesterol 50 +/- 15 (+15%), and plasma triglycerides 151 +/- 55 (-17%). When patients were stratified according to their LDL cholesterol target, 29.9% were on target, 34.0% missed it by <or = 30 mg/dl, and 36.1% by > 30 mg/dl. In class I only 14.9% achieved the target, in class II 31.2%, in class III 61.8%. CONCLUSIONS: These data show that general practitioners do not aim at an aggressive lipid lowering in patients at high risk, perhaps because of the limited knowledge of the need for modulating treatment according to the global CHD risk.
|Translated title of the contribution||Achievement of the therapeutic goals for dyslipidemia in clinical practice: results of a survey among general practice physicians from Lombardy|
|Journal||Italian Heart Journal|
|Volume||4 Suppl 7|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2003|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine