Statins Underused in Veterans with Severely Elevated Cholesterol

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-5406,

Dr. Rodriguez

Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-5406,

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Individuals with LDL-cholesterol levels above 190mg/dL are often underdiagnosed and undertreated, yet remain at high-risk of cardiovascular disease. In a national sample of veterans, we identified over 60,000 patients who met criteria for uncontrolled, severe hypercholesterolemia based on an index LDL-C value ≥190mg/dL. We found that only half of these high-risk patients are being treated with statins, and less than 10% are on high-intensity statin therapy as recommended by the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines. We also found that both older and younger patients were less likely to be treated with statins. Women were less likely to be treated with statins, whereas minority groups and those with a diagnosis of hypertension were more likely to be treated. Disparities in use of statins were also noted by geographic region and hospital teaching status. Continue reading

Evolocumab For Resistant Familial Hypercholesterolemia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Raul Santos
Unidade Clínica de Lipides InCor-HCFMUSP
Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Santos: Evolocumab 420 mg injected subcutaneously every 4 weeks reduced LDL-C by 31% on average, in relation to placebo, in Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia patients that were using maximally tolerated lipid lowering therapy but not on lipid apheresis regimen. Patients were separated according to the type of LDL receptor mutation, those with at least one allele codifyng a defective mutation on the LDL receptor (residual receptor activity 2-25%) had on average a 41% reduction on LDL-cholesterol. The 2 patients  homozygotes with alleles that codify a null mutation )receptor activity < 2%), did not respond to treatment. This was expected since PCSK9 inhibitors need a functional LDL receptor do work. Basically they increase the expression of the receptor that facilitates the clearance from plasma of circulating LDL particles. In those patients with defective LDL receptor  mutations there was 24% reduction of lipoprotein(a) concentrations, an extra risk factor for cardiovascular disease in familial hypercholesterolemia patients.

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