Frequency of statin use in patients with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ≥190 mg/dl from the veterans affairs health system

Document Type





Patients with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) ≥190 mg/dl have severe hypercholesterolemia and are at markedly increased risk for adverse cardiovascular events. This study sought to examine the prevalence and treatment of patients with uncontrolled severe hypercholesterolemia in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Health System. The study population was comprised of VA outpatients ≥21 years of age without atherosclerotic disease or diabetes mellitus and an index LDL-C ≥190 mg/dl during April 2011 to March 2014. Patients needed to have filled medications at the VA within the past 6 months. Patient and facility-level predictors of statin use, high-intensity statin use, and statin intensification were analyzed using multivariate logistic regressions. There were a total of 63,576 patients meeting inclusion criteria, including 8,553 (13.5%) women and 26,879 (29.0%) nonwhite patients. The mean (±S.D.) age was 55 (±13) years and the mean of the most recent LDL-C values was 207 ± 22 mg/dl. Only 52% of all eligible patients were on any statin therapy and 9.7% received high-intensity statin therapy. High-intensity statin use increased from 8.6% in 2011 to 13.6% in 2014 (p < 0.001). In adjusted analysis, patients <35 or >75 years of age were less likely to be on a statin (p < 0.001). Women were less likely to be treated than men, odds ratio = 0.88; 95% confidence interval (0.83, 0.92). Similar patterns were observed for predictors of high-intensity statin use and statin intensification. In conclusion, only half of high-risk VA patients with uncontrolled severe hypercholesterolemia were treated with statins and a small minority was on high-intensity statin therapy


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University

Publication (Name of Journal)

The American Journal of Cardiology