Management of lipid-lowering therapy in patients with cardiovascular events in the UK: A retrospective cohort study

Mark D. Danese, Michelle Gleeson, Lucie Kutikova, Robert I. Griffiths, Kamlesh Khunti, Sreenivasa Rao Kondapally Seshasai, Kausik K. Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives To describe low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol management and lipid-lowering treatment patterns in patients with a cardiovascular (CV) event. Design Retrospective cohort study using Clinical Practice Research Datalink records linked with Hospital Episode Statistics data. Setting Routine clinical practice in the UK from 2006 to 2012. Participants Individuals ≥18 years were selected at their first CV-related hospitalisation (first event cohort) if they had received ≥2 lipid-lowering therapy prescriptions within 180 days beforehand. Patients were stratified into four mutually exclusive subgroups based on the presence or absence of vascular disease and of diabetes. Those with a second CV hospitalisation within 36 months were included in a separate cohort (second event cohort). Primary and secondary outcome measures LDL levels in the year prior to the CV event and 12 months later as well as measures of adherence to lipid-lowering therapy during the 12 months after the CV hospitalisation. Results There were 24 093 patients in the first event cohort, of whom 5274 were included in the second event cohort. Most received moderate intensity statins at baseline and 12 months. Among the four first event cohort subgroups at baseline, the proportions with an LDL of <1.8 mmol/L was similar between the two diabetic cohorts (36% to 38%) and were higher than those in the two non-diabetic cohorts (17% to 22%) and in the second event cohort (31%). An incremental 5% to 9% had an LDL below 1.8 mmol/L at 12 months, suggesting intensification of therapy. The proportion of adherent patients (medication possession ratio of≥0.8) was highest for statins, ranging from 68% to 72%. For ezetimibe, the range was 65% to 70%, and for fibrates, it was 48% to 62%. Conclusions Despite the existence of effective therapies for lowering cholesterol, patients do not reach achievable LDL targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere013851
JournalBMJ open
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • cardiovascular disease
  • low density lipoprotein
  • treatment adherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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