The importance of cholesterol follow-up testing under current statin treatment guidelines.

Affiliation

Boston Heart Diagnostics, 175 Crossing Boulevard, Suite 100, Framingham, MA 01702, United States of America; Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111, United States of America. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Under "treat to risk" goals, low-density (LDL)-cholesterol follow-up measurements monitor statin compliance rather than titration to target levels, however, there is little evidence showing that more-frequent monitoring reduces LDL-cholesterol. We therefore tested whether frequency of blood tests significantly predicted lipoprotein improvements in a large anonymized clinical laboratory database. Differences (∆ ± SE) in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL-cholesterol between baseline and follow-up visits were calculated for 97,548 men and 110,424 women whose physicians sent blood to Boston Heart Diagnostics for analysis between 2010 and 2017. When adjusted for age and follow-up duration, plasma concentration changes per each follow-up measurement in men and women respectively were -2.84 ± 0.10 mg/dL and -3.03 ± 0.10 mg/dL for total cholesterol, -3.78 ± 0.30 mg/dL and -2.26 ± 0.19 mg/dL for triglycerides, and -2.54 ± 0.09 mg/dL and -3.06 ± 0.09 mg/dL for LDL-cholesterol (all P < 10-16). Relative to baseline, significant decreases (P < 10-16) were observed for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd follow-up measurements for total cholesterol (mean ± SE, men: -9.4 ± 0.1, -11.9 ± 0.2, -13.7 ± 0.3; women: -8.0 ± 0.1, -10.5 ± 0.2, -12.6 ± 0.3 mg/dL, respectively), triglycerides (men: -10.3 ± 0.4, -12.8 ± 0.5, -13.4 ± 0.7; women: -6.4 ± 0.2, -8.8 ± 0.4, -10.1 ± 0.5 mg/dL, respectively) and LDL-cholesterol (men: -7.8 ± 0.1, -9.9 ± 0.2, -11.1 ± 0.2; women: -6.9 ± 0.1, -9.0 ± 0.2, -10.7 ± 0.2 mg/dL, respectively). When adjusted for regression to the mean, 6.9%, 9.9% and 11.8% of men, and 5.7%, 9.7% and 11.5% of women, went from having an LDL-cholesterol ≥160 to <160 mg/dL for their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd follow-up measurements, respectively. We conclude that under usual physician care, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL-cholesterol concentrations decreased progressively with increased physician monitoring within a large patient population.

Keywords

Cholesterol,Clinical monitoring,Coronary heart disease,LDL-cholesterol,Prevention,Treatment,Triglycerides,

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