Cholesterol control in stroke prevention in Italy: A cross-sectional study in family practice

Alessandro Filippi, Elena Tragni, Angelo A. Bignamini, Emiliano Sessa, Giovanni Merlini, Ovidio Brignoli, Giampiero Mazzaglia, Alberico L. Catapano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Stroke represents worldwide the second and seventh cause of death and invalidity, respectively. Patients with ischaemic stroke or transitory ischaemic attack (TIA) are at high risk of recurrence, therefore requiring intensive treatment. Hypercholesterolaemia is a modifiable risk factor for stroke. The general practitioners attitude towards detection and treatment of dyslipidaemia among patients with stroke or TIA in Italy is unknown; we therefore aimed to address this issue taking advantage of the database of The Italian College of General Practitioners. Methods: Prevalence of the monitored factors (lipid levels, statin prescription, and lipid level control with hypolipidaemic agents prescription) were analysed on a patient population of 465 061. Results: A total of 2555 (49% women and 51 % men) patients with a diagnosis of stroke and 2755 patients (52% women and 48% men) with a diagnosis of TIA were included in the study. Total plasma cholesterol (TC) was reported in more than 60% of the patients and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc) in less than half. Total plasma cholesterol and LDLc were controlled in 70.3 and 72.8% of the patients, respectively. The percentage of controlled patients decreased to 64% when both LDLc and TC were considered. Statins and fibrates were prescribed in a small proportion of patients (16.9 and 3.5%, respectively). An acceptable control of blood lipids was achieved in a majority of those patients (60.2%). However a relatively large number of patients (646) with high plasma lipids remained untreated. Conclusions: Monitoring and intervention strategies on plasma lipid levels in patients with a diagnosis of stroke or TIA need to be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • Cholesterol
  • Family practice
  • Hypolipidaemic drugs
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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