Statin treatment and adherence to national cholesterol guidelines after ischemic stroke

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Abstract

Background:

National cholesterol guidelines have defined high vascular risk individuals as those who could potentially benefit most from statin therapy. The authors aimed to determine the rate of statin use, its predictors, and the achievement of national guideline target lipid goals among ischemic stroke survivors.

Methods:

The authors abstracted data from the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention (VISP) study database from the United States and Canada to incorporate into algorithms for initiating statin therapy according to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines for high-risk individuals. The authors applied these algorithms to all study subjects. Univariate as well as multivariate associations for target lipid levels and statin implementation were then evaluated utilizing pertinent demographic, clinical, and laboratory data.

Results:

Of 2,894 subjects in the analysis dataset, 38% were women; 71% were recruited in the United States and 29% in Canada. Of 769 high-risk subjects, 262 (34%) had a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level ≥130 mg/dL and 124 of these (47%) were not on statin. Among those high-risk persons on statin treatment, only 42% had an LDL ≤100 mg/dL. Subjects in the overall cohort were more likely to be on a statin if they were treated in the United States or had a history of hypertension or coronary artery disease.

Conclusions:

Approximately one out of three guideline-eligible high vascular risk ischemic stroke patients in this study had low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations above qualifying levels for pharmacologic therapy, but half of these patients were not taking a statin, and of those receiving statin treatment, less than half were within recommended lipid goals.

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