Understanding physician and consumer attitudes concerning cholesterol management: results from the National Lipid Association surveys

Am J Cardiol. 2004 Nov 4;94(9A):9F-15F. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2004.07.047.


Two online surveys commissioned by the National Lipid Association (NLA) were conducted to determine the current attitudes of physicians and consumers regarding cholesterol and heart disease. Physicians and consumers from preexisting independent panels were randomly invited to participate in the online surveys that were open from January 26 to 30, 2004. Both physicians (n = 200) and consumers (n = 600) agreed that high cholesterol and coronary artery disease (CAD) are significant health risks. Physicians reported the primary barriers for patients being prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication as patient fear of side effects (61%) and reluctance to take prescription medications (52%). While most physicians were aware of and felt they adhered to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) guidelines, considerably fewer thought the same of other physicians. The consumer survey focused on untreated moderate-risk patients (an approximate 10% to 20% 10-year risk of myocardial infarction and cardiac death) because this group is often undertreated. Untreated moderate-risk patients reported that their physicians did not advise them to take prescription cholesterol-lowering drugs (51%) and that they were trying to control their cholesterol with diet and exercise (58%). Consumers believe they are taking an increased role in their own health management and decision making. Current attitudes of physicians and consumers are similar with regard to their recognition of the significance of cholesterol and CAD for health, but differ with regard to why patients do not take prescription medications.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Cholesterol