Background: Although statins are widely used to reduce low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), there is little information about patient profiles, treatment patterns and goal achievement among statin-treated patients in Canada.
Objectives: To assess the profile of statin-treated patients and to determine whether they are achieving recommended targets for LDL-C.
Methods: The Canadian Lipid Study -- Observational (CALIPSO) was a cross-sectional study involving Canadian physicians who were among the top statin prescribers. Each physician enrolled up to 15 patients who were at least 18 years of age with a diagnosis of hyper-cholesterolemia and who had been using a statin for at least eight weeks. Sociodemographics, coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors, pretreatment and current lipid levels, and history of lipid-lowering therapy were reported for 3721 patients.
Results: Sixty-eight per cent of statin-treated patients were at high CAD risk according to the 2003 Canadian guidelines, 46.4% had established cardiovascular disease, 33.9% had diabetes and 59.5% had hypertension. Average LDL-C reductions of 32% (37% for high-risk patients) were initially required to reach goal. At the study visit, patients had been treated for an average of 4.3 years and 24.2% were using a high statin dose. Despite statin therapy, 27.2% of all patients and 36.4% of those at high CAD risk had not achieved LDL-C targets. For 67.4% of these patients, the current therapy was not modified at the study visit.
Conclusions: Despite effective therapies, many treated patients are not achieving recommended LDL-C targets. Strategies should be implemented to promote achievement of lipid treatment goals for high-risk patients, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular events and their associated clinical and economic burdens.