Lipid-modifying therapy and attainment of cholesterol goals in Hungary: the return on expenditure achieved for lipid therapy (REALITY) study

György Paragh, Lászlo Márk, Károly Zámolyi, Gyula Pados, Péter Ofner
Clinical Drug Investigation 2007, 27 (9): 647-60

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in Eastern Europe. Few studies on cholesterol goal achievement have been conducted in Hungarian clinical settings. This study set out to evaluate lipid-modifying therapy practices and their effects on total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goal attainment in Hungarian patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), CHD risk equivalents, or >or=2 coronary risk factors.

METHODS: This multicentre observational study involved patients receiving lipid-modifying therapy who were under the care of general practitioners (n = 300) or specialists (n = 140). Physician questionnaires were used to collect data on baseline patient characteristics, including laboratory parameters. Using validated cardiovascular risk assessment measures, patients were stratified into high-risk (10-year absolute coronary risk >20%; n = 367) and lower risk groups (n = 73). Cholesterol goals were TC <4.5 mmol/L (<175 mg/dL) and LDL-C <2.5 mmol/L (<100 mg/dL) for the high-risk group and TC <5.0 mmol/L (<193 mg/dL) and LDL-C <3.0 mmol/L (<117 mg/dL) for those at lower risk.

RESULTS: Among 440 patients (n = 312 with CHD or CHD risk equivalents), 374 (85%) were initiated on HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statin monotherapy), 44 (10%) received fibric acid derivatives and 22 (5%) received combination regimens. Although >50% of patients needed >35% TC lowering to reach goal, <10% of patients received high or very high potency lipid-modifying regimens or combination regimens initially. A total of 116 (26.4%) patients achieved their TC goals after >/=1 year of treatment, including 27.9% of patients with CHD/risk equivalents and 22.7% of those with risk factors only. Sixty-six (15%) patients achieved goal on initial lipid-modifying regimens, while a further 50 (11.4%) achieved goal following treatment changes, including upward dosage adjustments.

CONCLUSION: Approximately 74% of Hungarian patients receiving lipid-modifying therapy in our study did not achieve cholesterol goals. The proportion of patients realising their TC goals was higher in those treated by specialists but still did not exceed one-third.

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