Many Doctors Tend to Undertreat With Statins

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Target levels more likely to be achieved in departments that prescribe more statins.
Target levels more likely to be achieved in departments that prescribe more statins.

(HealthDay News) -- Some clinical departments tend to undertreat when prescribing statins, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

Hun-Sung Kim, MD, PhD, from the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, and colleagues examined the department-specific disparities and achievement rates for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) targets based on each department's prescription patterns for 31,718 patients who had been prescribed a statin. Based on the National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines, patients were classified into high-risk (target LDL-C <100 mg/dL) and moderate-risk (target LDL-C <130 mg/dL) groups.

The researchers found that statins were most commonly prescribed in cardiology and endocrinology departments (32 and 26.6%, respectively). Target LDL-C levels were achieved by 70% of high-risk patients in the cardiology, endocrinology, and cardiac surgery departments, while 79.2% of the moderate-risk group achieved target levels. In most other departments, the target achievement rates were below 70% for high-risk patients. The likelihood of achieving target LDL-C levels was higher for departments that prescribed a greater number of high- or intermediate-potency statins. There was a significant positive relationship for the group that achieved their target LDL-C levels, from low to high potency.

"To reach to the target LDL-C levels, physicians must overcome their tendency to undertreat with statins," the authors write.

Source

  1. Kim HS, Kim H, Lee H, et al. Analysis and Comparison of Statin Prescription Patterns and Outcomes According to Clinical Department. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. doi:10.1111/jcpt.12350.
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