A new study focused on the treatment rates for people who suffer from elevated cholesterol levels. This research showed that more than 60% of people with elevated cholesterol levels don’t receive the appropriate treatment for this condition. A paper with the results is available in the journal Circulation.
Elevated Cholesterol Levels Don’t Receive the Needed Attention?
Data from 1999 to 2014 was used to conduct the research. This was provided by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey used self-reported awareness, statin therapy, and screening for US adults who were older than 20 and had elevated cholesterol levels. There was also a subgroup of people who had a genetic disorder which causes them to present an extreme elevation in cholesterol.
The results of the study show that cholesterol awareness and screening were at more than 80%. Despite this fact, researchers observed that the use of statins to lower cholesterol levels was lower than expected.
Only 38% of people with high cholesterol were prescribed a statin. This difference between the screening and the prescribed medical treatment was much higher in young patients and people without insurance.
“Young adults may be less likely to think that they are at risk of cardiovascular disease, and clinicians may be less likely to initiate statin therapy in this population,” wrote lead author Emily Bucholz.
Despite the fact that current guidelines recommend statin therapy for patients who have elevated cholesterol levels, this research shows that doctors don’t prescribe them most of the times. Due to the fact that these people don’t receive the statin treatment once they are diagnosed, this increases their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers mentioned that more studies need to be made on this topic to see how the gaps between treatment and screening can be solved. It is also essential to try and establish why these gaps exist in the first place, before finding a way to address them.
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