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Cholesterol Goals & Gender Differences

Cholesterol Goals & Gender Differences

Recently, several groups, including the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATPIII) and the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA), have released updated cholesterol treatment guidelines. These guidelines are intended to influence cholesterol treatment practices for physicians, but few studies have documented their effect on actual prescribing behaviors and its impact on patient eligibility for treatment. The ACC/AHA guidelines, for example, recently expanded its indications on who is recommended to receive statins, particularly patients who were previously thought to be at moderate risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The purpose of the new guidelines was to facilitate treatment decisions so that more eligible patients were prescribed these medications.   Women Vs Men “Prior research has shown that women do not reliably receive aggressive cardiovascular interventions and may not be given guideline-based treatment in order to reduce their risk for cardiac events,” says Martin W. Schoen, MD, MPH. To address this issue, Dr. Schoen and colleagues had a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology that described cholesterol treatment in an academic practice of family and internal medicine physicians. The purpose was to understand factors that were associated with achieving guideline-based treatment goals in women as compared with men. For the analysis, the investigators assessed primary care patients aged 40 to 75 who were either prescribed a statin, had a Framingham risk score of 10% or higher, had diabetes, or had atherosclerotic CVD. Patients were classified into ATPIII categories and assessed for whether or not they were in compliance with ATPIII guidelines. The authors then calculated odds ratios of goal adherence between women and men and developed a multivariate model for...
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