Geographic variations in lipid-lowering therapy utilization, LDL-C levels, and proportion retrospectively meeting the ACC/AHA very high-risk criteria in a real-world population of patients with major atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events in the United States

Am J Prev Cardiol. 2021 Mar 30;6:100177. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpc.2021.100177. eCollection 2021 Jun.

Abstract

Objective: We assessed national- and state-level geographic variations among patients with a history of ≥1 major atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) event in: (1) the proportion of patients with retrospectively identified 2018 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline very high-risk (VHR) ASCVD criteria; (2) utilization of guideline-directed lipid-lowering therapy (LLT); and (3) the proportion of patients with persistent low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) elevations despite statin and/or ezetimibe use.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study using the Prognos LDL-C database linked to IQVIA longitudinal medical and prescription claims databases. The study period was from January 01, 2011, to November 30, 2019 and the index period was from January 01, 2016, to November 30, 2019; the index date was defined as the most recent LDL-C test during the index period. The study included patients aged ≥18 years at index who had a measured LDL-C level during the index period and had ≥1 inpatient/outpatient claim for ASCVD during the 5-year pre-index period.

Results: Of patients with any ASCVD (N=4652,468), 1537,514 (33.1%) patients had ≥1 major ASCVD event. Among patients with ≥1 major ASCVD event, the VHR ASCVD criteria were retrospectively identified in 1139,018 (74.1%) patients; Hawaii had the highest (81.7%) and Colorado the lowest (65.0%) proportion of these patients. Nationally, 48.8% and 50.2% of patients with ≥1 major ASCVD event and retrospectively identified VHR ASCVD criteria, respectively, had current LLT use; Massachusetts and Colorado had the highest and lowest proportions, respectively. After standardizing for age and sex, 57.3% and 58.8% of patients with ≥1 major ASCVD event and retrospectively identified VHR ASCVD criteria, respectively, had LDL-C ≥70 mg/dL (≥1.8 mmol/L) despite statin and/or ezetimibe use, with substantial state-level variations observed.

Conclusions: The study highlights high rates of elevated LDL-C and pervasive underuse of LLT in health-insured patients with a history of major ASCVD events treated in the United States, with state-level geographic variations observed.

Keywords: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease; LDL-C; Lipid-lowering therapy; Very high-risk.