How effective are the ESC/EAS and 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines in treating dyslipidemia? Lessons from a lipid clinic

Fotios Barkas, Haralampos Milionis, Michael S Kostapanos, Dimitri P Mikhailidis, Moses Elisaf, Evangelos Liberopoulos
Current Medical Research and Opinion 2015, 31 (2): 221-8

OBJECTIVE: There is a paucity of data regarding the attainment of lipid-lowering treatment goals according to the recent American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines. The aim of the present study was to assess how applicable these 2013 recommendations are in the setting of an Outpatient University Hospital Lipid Clinic.

METHODS: This was a retrospective (from 1999 to 2013) observational study including 1000 consecutive adults treated for hyperlipidemia and followed up for ≥3 years. Comparisons for the applicability of current European Society of Cardiology/European Atherosclerosis Society (ESC/EAS) and recent ACC/AHA guidelines were performed.

RESULTS: Achievement rates of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) targets set by ESC/EAS were 21%, 44% and 62% among patients at very high, high and moderate cardiovascular risk, respectively, receiving statin monotherapy. Among individuals on high-intensity statins only 47% achieved the anticipated ≥50% LDL-C reduction, i.e. the ACC/AHA target. The corresponding rate was significantly greater among those on statin + ezetimibe (76%, p < 0.05). Likewise, higher rates of LDL-C target attainment according to ESC/EAS guidelines were observed in patients on statin + ezetimibe compared with statin monotherapy (37, 50 and 71% for the three risk groups, p < 0.05 for the very high risk group).

CONCLUSION: The application of the ACC/AHA guidelines may be associated with undertreatment of high risk patients due to suboptimal LDL-C response to high-intensity statins in clinical practice. Adding ezetimibe substantially increases the rate of the ESC/EAS LDL-C target achievement together with the rate of LDL-C lowering response suggested by the ACC/AHA.

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