Underuse of cholesterol-lowering medication creates ‘missed opportunities’
ATLANTA — Despite the improvements that have been made in cholesterol reduction, more efforts are needed to improve usage rates of cholesterol-lowering medications in patients, including those with familial hypercholesterolemia, according to a presentation at the FH Foundation’s FH Global Summit.
Rear Admiral Betsy L. Thompson, MD, MSPH, DrPH, assistant surgeon of the U.S. Public Health Service and director of the division for heart disease and stroke prevention at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC, said the division has several goals: reduce the risk for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, improve management and control of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia and to reduce the burden of stroke and heart disease.
“This really covers the spectrum from prevention to detection and treatment to control,” she said. “I hope it’s apparent to you that our goals are inextricably linked with your own. Reducing the risk for and improving management of hypercholesterolemia is central to our work at the CDC, and I know it’s central to your work as well.”
The CDC’s goal to improve the CV health of patients is driven by addressing health equity — focusing on priority populations — and strategically engaging partners, she said.
Some progress has been made with regards to the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, as shown with 1999-2000 and 2015-2016 NHANES data. During that time, the prevalence of high total cholesterol declined from 18.3% to 12.4%, and the rate of low HDL declined from 22.2% to 18.4%, but despite the improvements, disparities still exist according to sex, race, ethnicity and geographic locations, Thompson said.
Despite the improvements that have been made in cholesterol reduction, more efforts are needed to improve usage rates of cholesterol-lowering medications in patients, including those with familial hypercholesterolemia, according to a presentation at the FH Foundation’s FH Global Summit.
Source: Healio/Cardiology Today
“That still leaves over 90 million adults with total cholesterols of 200 mg/dL or more and over 28 million with levels greater than or equal to 240 mg/dL,” Thompson said during the presentation. “In fact, nearly one in three adults has high LDL cholesterol while 18% have a low HDL.”
One in five children also have high total cholesterol and low HDL, according to the presentation.
“The bottom line is that clearly there is still much work to be done in terms of decreasing the prevalence of dyslipidemia,” Thompson said during the presentation.
Dyslipidemia often results from several factors including modifiable risk factors, high-risk populations and consequences. Even with these factors, lipid management can still be achieved with both lifestyle modifications and treatments, particularly in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia, Thompson added.
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