Background: The 2013 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) cholesterol guideline recommends statin treatment based on patients' predicted atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk. Whether clinician-reported guideline adoption translates to implementation into practice is unknown. Objectives: We aimed to compare clinician lipid management in hypothetical scenarios versus observed practice. Methods: The PALM Registry asked 774 clinicians how they would treat 4 hypothetical scenarios of primary prevention patients with: (1) diabetes; (2) high 10-year ASCVD risk (≥7.5%) with high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; ≥130 mg/dL); (3) low 10-year ASCVD risk (<7.5%) with high LDL-C (130–189 mg/dL); or (4) primary and secondary prevention patients with persistently elevated LDL-C (≥130 mg/dL) despite high-intensity statin use. We assessed agreement between clinician survey responses and observed practice. Results: In primary prevention scenarios, 85% of clinicians reported they would prescribe a statin to a diabetic patient and 93% to a high-risk/high LDL-C patient (both indicated by guidelines), while 40% would prescribe statins to a low-risk/high LDL-C patient. In clinical practice, statin prescription rates were 68% for diabetic patients, 40% for high-risk/high LDL-C patients, and 50% for low-risk/high LDL-C patients. Agreement between hypothetical and observed practice was 64%, 39%, and 52% for patients with diabetes, high-risk/high LDL-C, and low-risk/high LDL-C, respectively. Among patients with persistently high LDL-C despite high-intensity statin treatment, 55% of providers reported they would add a non-statin lipid-lowering medication, while only 22% of patients were so treated. Conclusions: While the majority of clinicians report adoption of the 2013 ACC/AHA guideline recommendations, observed lipid management decisions in practice are frequently discordant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine