MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiovascular Institute
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The 2013 ACC/AHA cholesterol management guidelines emphasized that high-risk patients with atherosclerotic disease should be on high-intensity statins. We sought to determine how these guidelines are being adopted at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Health System and to identify treatment gaps.
Our main findings were that the use of high-intensity statins increased from 23 to 35% following the guideline release for these high-risk patients. However, high-intensity statin use was lowest in Hispanics and Native Americans. Women, older adults, and patients with peripheral arterial and cerebrovascular disease were also less likely to undergo statin intensification after the release of the guideline. We also noted geographic and institutional differences across VA hospitals in rates of high-intensity statin use for secondary prevention.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The study shows that, in a large patient cohort of high-risk veterans with atherosclerotic disease, there has been an increase in the use of high-intensity statins following the release of the new cholesterol guidelines. Yet, only a third of these patients are meeting the current guidelines. Women, some minority groups, and patients with cerebrovascular disease and peripheral arterial disease were less likely to be intensified after the new guidelines.
Our study suggests areas for improvement to ensure guideline adherence among these high-risk patient groups.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future studies should explore why disparities in guideline adherence to statin therapy exist for certain patient groups and what can be done to mitigate these disparities. Additionally, implementation studies should assess systems-wide interventions to increase high-intensity statin use among all high-risk patient groups.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Use of high-intensity statins for patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in the Veterans Affairs Health System: Practice impact of the new cholesterol guidelines
Rodriguez, Fatima et al.
American Heart Journal , Volume 182 , 97 – 102
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