Gender differences in cholesterol-lowering medication prescribing in peripheral artery disease

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Abstract

Among 320 patients with lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD) and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels > 70 mg/dl, we determined whether male sex, higher education, and greater self-efficacy for willingness to request therapy from one’s physician were associated with increases in LDL-C-lowering medication and achievement of an LDL-C level < 70 mg/dl at 1-year follow-up. Participants were enrolled in a randomized controlled clinical trial to determine whether a telephone counseling intervention can help PAD patients achieve an LDL-C level < 70 mg/dl, compared to usual care and attention control conditions, respectively. Adjusting for age, race, comorbidities, PAD severity, and other covariates, male sex (odds ratio = 3.33, 95% confidence interval = 1.64 to 6.77, p = 0.001) was associated with a higher likelihood of adding cholesterol-lowering medication during follow-up, but was not associated with achieving an LDL-C < 70 mg/dl (odds ratio = 1.09, 95% confidence interval = 0.55 to 2.18). No associations of education level or self-efficacy with study outcomes were identified. In conclusion, male PAD patients with baseline LDL-C levels ≥ 70 mg/dl were more likely to intensify LDL-C-lowering medication during 1-year follow-up than female PAD patients. Despite greater increases in LDL-C-lowering medication among female PAD patients, there was no difference in the degree of LDL-C lowering during the study between men and women with PAD. Clinical Trial Registration – URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00217919

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