We review the current drug treatment of hyperlipidaemia at our specialist out-patient clinics between October 1995 and December 1995. During this period, 523 patients received one or more lipid-lowering drugs. Each patient was assessed for his vascular risk, the number of lipid measurements before and after treatment and the type, duration and outcome of drug treatment. Only 30% patients achieved the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) targets recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program II: 14%, 37% and 71% of the high, moderate and low risk patients achieved the targets respectively. Most patients (62.7%) were treated after only one lipid measurement and less than 50% of patients had a post-treatment lipid measurement within 3 months. Although the majority of patients did not achieve the recommended LDL-C targets, their LDL-C was significantly reduced by 20%. A greater reduction of LDL-C (32%) was achieved by simvastatin monotherapy.
Serum cholesterol has been established as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). There is a linear association between serum cholesterol level and CHD mortality and morbidity.
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