Background: Although morbidity and mortality from coronary artery disease can be improved with a variety of pharmacologic interventions, many patients remain undertreated. Hypothesis: This study sought to assess whether hospitalization for possible coronary artery disease would prompt initiation of appropriate lipid-lowering therapy. Methods: This prospective, observational study was conducted on consecutive patients with active chest pain admitted to the Emergency Department of the hospital for suspected myocardial ischemia. Elevated cholesterol, defined as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), was > 100 mg/dl with a prior history or a new diagnosis of coronary artery disease, or an LDL > 130 mg/dl without known coronary artery disease. Data were recorded at the time of admission, discharge, and at 4-month follow-up. Results: Of the patients with hyperlipidemia, 65% men and 55% women were on medication at the time of admission (p = 0.30), while at discharge, 79% men and 60% women were on treatment (p = 0.002), with similar rates of treatment at 4-month follow-up (p = 0.030). At discharge, two variables were independently associated with patients receiving lipid-lowering therapy: age ≥65 years (odds ratio = 2.3; 95% confidence interval 1.2-4.5) and male gender (2.7; 15-5.0). Conclusions: In patients hospitalized with chest pain, particularly in women, the initiation of treatment of hyperlipidemia frequently does not happen. This oversight represents a lost opportunity for making an impact on the health of this population.
- Hospital medicine
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine