Introduction and objectives: Only a few studies have reported nationwide population-based data on the magnitude and control of hypercholesterolemia. This work examines the prevalence and management of hypercholesterolemia in Spain.
Methods: Cross-sectional study conducted from June 2008 to October 2010 on 11,554 individuals representative of the population aged ≥ 18 years in Spain. Study participants provided 12-h fasting blood samples, which were analyzed in a central laboratory with standardized methods.
Results: In the whole population, 50.5% had hypercholesterolemia (total cholesterol ≥ 200 mg/dL or drug treatment) and 44.9% high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (≥ 130 mg/dL or drug treatment), with no substantial sex-related differences. Moreover, 25.5% of men showed high-density lipoprotein cholesterol < 40 mg/dL and 26.4% of women high-density lipoprotein cholesterol <50mg/dL. Also, 23.2% of men and 11.7% of women had triglycerides ≥ 150 mg/dL. Frequency of dyslipidemia increased up to 65 years, except for low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol which did not vary with age. Among those with high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, 53.6% knew of it and 44.1% of them received lipid-lowering treatment; among the latter, 55.7% had a controlled level (13.2% of all hypercholesterolemics). Control of high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased with age and with the number of visits to the specialist physician, but was lower among diabetics (odds ratio=0.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.28-0.53) and patients with cardiovascular disease (odds ratio=0.55; 95% confidence interval, 0.33-0.92).
Conclusions: About half of the Spanish population has elevated serum cholesterol; moreover, cholesterol control is poor, particularly among those with highest cardiovascular risk, such as diabetics or patients with cardiovascular disease.
Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.