FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A high proportion of patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) do not achieve recommended low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goals, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, held from Nov. 16 to 18 in Philadelphia.

Joseph Allen, from the American College of Cardiology in Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined LDL-C goal attainment (LDL-C <70 mg/dL) and lipid-lowering therapy (LLT) in a cohort of 1,897,204 patients with ASCVD.

The researchers found that 21.1 percent of the patients had no history of LLT use. Overall, 84.5 percent of the patients not on LLT did not meet the LDL-C goal. Sixty-seven percent of the 1,328,969 patients receiving only a statin did not achieve the LDL-C goal. Overall, 32.9, 41.1, and 25.9 percent of patients on any statin achieved LDL-C <70 mg/dL, 70 to 99 mg/dL, and ≥100 mg/dL, respectively. The proportion achieving the LDL-C goal while on statin therapy was lower for younger patients (18 to 64 years), women, and African-Americans.

“Large groups of patients with ASCVD are not achieving low enough LDL-C levels, which puts them at greater risk of recurrent cardiovascular events and death,” a coauthor said in a statement. “It’s apparent that large gaps exist and that more efforts are needed in implementing the cholesterol guidelines. Next steps are examining what barriers exist in achieving these treatment goals and how to address these barriers.”

Several authors are employees of Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which partially funded the study.

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