Indexed on: 05 Apr '08Published on: 05 Apr '08Published in: European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
To assess the use of lipid-lowering therapy in patients with known coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease or diabetes in a community-based population in Sweden considering expert recommendations.A random sample of individuals aged > or =40 years who were surveyed in 1993-1994 were revisited 10 years later during 2003-2004 (n = 724). A clinical investigation focused on cardiovascular risk including serum total cholesterol. Information on medical history and current medication was collected in structured interviews.Eighty-two patients (11.3%) reported a history of CHD, including 51 men and 31 women. Fifty-three patients fulfilled criteria for treatment and most of them (85%) were on lipid-lowering therapy. A higher fraction of women were treated; however only 13% of them reached target cholesterol levels compared to 37% of the men (P < 0.001). Sixty-five subjects (9.0%) had diabetes and/or a previous stroke (29 men, 36 women) but no previous CHD. Patients with CHD were more likely to be treated compared to patients with diabetes and/or stroke but no CHD (85.0 vs. 28.5%, OR 6.0, 95% CI 2.2-16.9, P = 0.01). In a total of 79 participants (10.9%) who were on lipid-lowering therapy, women reached a total serum cholesterol level below 5.0 mmol/L less often than men (26.3 vs. 63.4%, P < 0.001).A considerable proportion of patients in primary care were untreated despite current guidelines on lipid-lowering therapy. Treatment outcome in women was less efficient compared with men. Strategies to improve pharmacological treatment in these patients should be developed.