Background: Despite the well-established benefits of strategies to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), many patients fail to achieve the guideline recommended targets. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of an enhanced 26-week algorithm-based treatment optimization strategy, involving titration of statin monotherapy and/or combination therapy with statin and ezetimibe, on achievement of guideline-based LDL-C targets in patients at high risk for atherosclerotic disease.
Methods and results: In this national (172-physician) quality enhancement research initiative involving 2334 Canadian men and women (median age, 65 years) at high vascular risk who were not at the guideline-recommended LDL-C target despite statin therapy, 36.6% and 45.5% of patients achieved an LDL-C <2.0 mmol/L at visit 2 and visit 3, respectively, using the treatment optimization algorithm. The percentage of patients achieving the 2009 Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS)-recommended target of either LDL-C <2.0 mmol/L or a 50% or greater reduction from baseline increased from 6.8% at visit 1 to 43.3% at visit 2 and to 52.1% at visit 3. Attainment of LDL-C targets increased significantly with consecutive visits (P < .001). Use of ezetimibe in combination with statin therapy was associated with greater target achievement.
Conclusions: Use of a structured treatment optimization algorithm, based on titration of statin dosages and incorporation of ezetimibe therapy when required, enabled the majority of high-risk patients to achieve guideline-recommended targets, thereby narrowing the care gap that exists in dyslipidemia management.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.