High cholesterol is undertreated in England

November 23, 2000

Lipid concentrations and the use of lipid lowering drugs: evidence from a national cross sectional survey

Treating dyslipidaemia in primary care

At least a quarter of English adults have cholesterol levels above the ideal, yet only one in 50 take cholesterol lowering drugs, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

National guidelines recommend that cholesterol lowering drugs should be used for people with a history of coronary heart disease, or those with the highest risk of developing coronary heart disease. Using data from over 13,500 English adults, researchers in London found that only 30% of people with a history of coronary heart disease were taking cholesterol lowering drugs, with only one in eight reaching the recommended cholesterol target. Among those high risk people identified, only 3% were taking cholesterol lowering drugs.

The authors estimate that if cholesterol lowering was achieved in the remaining 70% of untreated adults with a history of coronary heart disease, about 7,000 fatal or non-fatal heart attacks and about 2,500 fatal or non-fatal strokes would be avoided each year.

Fortunately, the use of cholesterol lowering drugs is rising, say the authors. They hope that the new NHS national service framework will reinforce guidelines on cholesterol management, so that the use of these drugs continues to grow and the huge benefits in terms of preventing cardiovascular events can be realised, they conclude.

Paola Primatesta, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, UK
Email: paolap@public-health.ucl.ac.uk


Related Coronary Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Women with coronary artery wall thickness at risk for heart disease
The thickness of the coronary artery wall as measured by MRI is an independent marker for heart disease in women, according to a new study.

E-cigarettes linked to heart attacks, coronary artery disease and depression
Concerns about the addictive nature of e-cigarettes -- now used by an estimated 1 out of 20 Americans -- may only be part of the evolving public health story surrounding their use, according to data being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session.

Coronary calcium levels a better predictor of patients at risk for coronary heart disease
A new study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Session conference found that testing a patient's coronary calcium levels is a better predictor of blocked coronary arteries at risk for a heart attack and the need for revascularization than standard risk-assessment equations used in medical practice today.

Coronary heart disease: DMP could be extended by two topics
Almost all health care aspects need to be updated. The already third search update for guidelines shows that their number and quality have increased notably in 10 years.

Learning about coronary heart disease from women
While many risk factors of CHD, such as smoking, high blood pressure and age, are common among men and women, some metabolic risk factors, such as being diabetic, are more strongly associated with increased risk of CHD in women than in men.

Cardiorespiratory fitness is essential to reduce risk of coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of death for men in the US.

New study highlights smoking intensity in coronary heart disease risk
Increased relative risks for coronary heart disease (CHD) have long been associated with smoking, and traditionally they have been dependent on the number of cigarettes smoked a day, smoking intensities, and total exposure over time.

Pessimism associated with risk of death from coronary heart disease
Pessimism seems to be a strong risk factor for death from coronary heart disease, while optimism does not protect from it, according to a study published in the open-access journal BMC Public Health that involved 2,267 middle-aged and older Finnish men and women.

Study finds large decrease in coronary heart disease in US
The incidence of coronary heart disease in the US declined nearly 20 percent from 1983 to 2011, according to a study appearing in the Nov.

Americans are getting heart-healthier: Coronary heart disease decreasing in the US
Coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Read More: Coronary Heart Disease News and Coronary Heart Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.