Background: There may be a considerable gap between LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) and blood pressure (BP) goal values recommended by the guidelines and results achieved in daily practice.
Design: Prospective cross-sectional survey of cardiovascular disease risk profiles and management with focus on lipid lowering and BP lowering in clinical practice.
Methods: In phase 1, the cardiovascular risk of patients with known lipid profile visiting their general practitioner was anonymously assessed in accordance to the PROCAM-score. In phase 2, high-risk patients who did not achieve LDL-C goal less than 2.6 mmol/l in phase 1 could be further documented.
Results: Six hundred thirty-five general practitioners collected the data of 23 892 patients with known lipid profile. Forty percent were high-risk patients (diabetes mellitus or coronary heart disease or PROCAM-score >20%), compared with 27% estimated by the physicians. Goal attainment rate was almost double for BP than for LDL-C in high-risk patients (62 vs. 37%). Both goals were attained by 25%. LDL-C values in phase 1 and 2 were available for 3097 high-risk patients not at LDL-C goal in phase 1; 32% of patients achieved LDL-C goal of less than 2.6 mmol/l after a mean of 17 weeks. The most successful strategies for LDL-C reduction were implemented in only 22% of the high-risk patients.
Conclusion: Although patients at high cardiovascular risk were treated more intensively than low or medium risk patients, the majority remained insufficiently controlled, which is an incentive for intensified medical education. Adequate implementation of Swiss and International guidelines would expectedly contribute to improved achievement of LDL-C and BP goal values in daily practice.