Exploring the gap between National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines and clinical practice in secondary care: Results of a cross-sectional study involving over 10 000 patients followed in different specialty settings across Italy

Claudio Rapezzi, Elena Biagini, Paolo Bellis, Massimo Cafiero, Mario Velussi, Antonio Ceriello, Robin M T Cooke, Carlo Schweiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives To evaluate implementation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) control recommendations in secondary care and explore key points in the decisional workup. Methods and results In a nationwide survey of secondary- care outpatients (n = 11124), we studied prevalence/ predictors of (1) LDL-C value availability; (2) ongoing treatment with statins; (3) achievement of US National Cholesterol Education Program III target LDL-C values. Agreement between US National Cholesterol Education Program III risk category and physicians' personal risk assessments was also studied. LDL-C values were available for 78% evaluable patients; 71% of the patients with dyslipidema were undergoing treatment with statins; 34% patients undergoing treatment had target LDL-C values. At regression analysis, non-availability of LDL-C values was predicted by absence of diabetes, presence of normotension, and advancing age; lack of statins treatment by female sex, diabetes, overweight and northern location (southern location predicted treatment); non-achievement of target LDL-C values by age, diabetes, attending a diabetic clinic, cigarette smoking, history of cardiovascular disease, and taking less than six pills per day. Physicians provided underestimates of patients' risk (39% high-risk patients were rated as intermediate-risk patients and a further 10% as low-risk patients). Conclusion Suboptimal prevention practice seems to be associated with various factors acting at different levels within the complex process running from individual risk-level ascertainment to LDL-C target achievement. Multicomponent interventions that target the different key steps need to be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)878-887
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Medicine
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular prevention
  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Risk factors
  • Statins
  • Us national cholesterol education program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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