Serum lipid profile on admission for ischemic stroke: Failure to meet National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP-ATPIII) guidelines

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To determine the characteristics of patients with stroke/TIA whose admission low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels were above goals defined by National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP-ATPIII) guidelines.


From January 1, 2003, to June 30, 2005, there were 1,212 discharges (1,033 stroke, 179 TIA), of whom 1,040/1,212 (86%) had lipid measurement. The preadmission individual LDL goal was determined using 2001 NCEP-ATPIII guidelines.


There were 284/1,040 (27%) whose measured LDL was greater than the individual preadmission LDL goal. Failure to be at goal was common even among those with previously diagnosed dyslipidemia (159/527, 30%) and those taking lipid-lowering agents (LLA) (71/370, 19%). LLA would have been indicated in 121/213 (57%) of those above LDL goal who were not already taking LLA, with optional consideration in 77/213 (36%). Lower LDL therapeutic targets were the strongest predictor, in a multivariable model, of failure to be at goal. Compared to LDL target <160 (reference), the OR for LDL target <130 was 6.4 (95% CI 3.4 to 12.0, p < 0.0001) and for LDL target <100 was 26.2 (95% CI 13.3 to 51.5, p < 0.0001). An increased likelihood of being at goal was associated with preadmission LLA (OR 4.2, 95% CI 2.9 to 6.2, p < 0.0001) and increasing calendar time (OR 1.09 per 3-month period, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.15, p = 0.004).


Many patients hospitalized with ischemic stroke/TIA, including those with known dyslipidemia and those taking lipid lowering agents, have measured low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that is higher than recommended by national guidelines. Patients at the greatest risk of cardiovascular events are the least likely to be at guideline-recommended LDL levels.

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