Only half of adults with familial hypercholesterolemia are currently in statin therapy, with even fewer receiving a high-intensity statin, according to an analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
“We found that 0.47 percent of the adults US population has define/ probable FH [familial hypercholesterolemia] but observed a large disconnect between screening and treatment rates in adults with definite/ probable FH and adults with severe dyslipidemia.”
The team used detailed health information from the 1999-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to collect a nationally representative sample of 42,471 patients aged 20.
The analysis found that 14 million adults or almost 7 percent in the population had severe dyslipidemia (LDL cholesterol of at least 190 mg/dL), and that 1 million of these adults, 7.2 percent had definite or probable FH. Among the adults with FH awareness and screening rates were above 80 percent but those rates were only moderate among the general population.
Adults who were likely to have FH were also more likely to be screened and be aware of hyperlipidemia than those with only severe dyslipidemia. Despite high rates of awareness, statin use was low across the board. Just over half (52 percent) of patients with definite/ probable FH were using a statin.
The rate of statin use was even lower in patients with severe dyslipidemia, at only 38 percent. High-intensity statin use also dwindled in both dysilipidemia and FH patient groups (37 percent and 30 percent, respectively).
Rates of cholesterol screening, awareness, and lipid-lowering medication were particularly low in younger patients, uninsured patients, and patients without a usual source of care. Limitations to the analysis include the self-reported information on cholesterol screening, awareness treatment rates, and the lack of information concerning statin dosages.
In light of the results of this study, it was emphasized that statin use among underserved patients groups without access to care needs to be a priority.
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