Clinical pharmacist understanding of the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association cholesterol guideline

Document Type



Cardiology; Office of the Provost


Background: Clinical pharmacists are frequently involved in the management of dyslipidemia, yet clinical pharmacists' knowledge, awareness, and the level of agreement with the 2013 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) cholesterol guideline are unknown.
Objective: The objective of the study was to examine clinical pharmacists' knowledge, awareness, and the level of agreement with the 2013 ACC/AHA cholesterol guideline.
Methods: We administered a validated questionnaire via an online survey that was electronically mailed to clinical pharmacists. We compared responses between those in practice for ≤ 10 and those in practice for > 10 years, and according to practice specialty.
Results: The response rate was 11% (314 of 2845). Most respondents were from the Midwestern and Southeastern US, in practice for ≤ 10 years, and practiced in family practice/primary care. Nearly all (92%) respondents had read the guideline and 72% were able to identify the 4 statin benefit groups. Notable knowledge gaps included recalling the 4 outcomes of the 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk estimator (41.4%), understanding differences between the Framingham Risk Score and the ASCVD risk estimator (33.7%), and monitoring lipids after initiating a statin (41.1%). More knowledge gaps were identified in those practicing for > 10 years and who specialized in internal medicine. The use of the ASCVD risk estimator was high; yet nearly half (44.2%) were concerned whether the ASCVD risk estimator would overestimate 10-year ASCVD risk.
Conclusion: Although most clinical pharmacists had read the 2013 ACC/AHA cholesterol guideline, several knowledge gaps were identified, especially among those with more experience and those practicing in internal medicine. Targeted education efforts are needed to address these gaps


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Clinical Lipidology