Unmet need in the hyperlipidaemia population with high risk of cardiovascular disease: a targeted literature review of observational studies

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine recommended target levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) for hyperlipidaemia patients at high risk (i.e., with two or more risk factors or coronary heart disease or its risk equivalents) for cardiovascular disease (CVD); to determine LDL-C targets recommended by guidelines, and to examine the proportions of patients who do not achieve targeted LDL-C levels in real-world studies.

METHODS: Electronic databases were searched: Medline, Medline In-Process, Embase, BIOSIS, and the Cochrane Library (1 January 2005 to 31 December 2013). Guideline searches were limited to publications in the last 5 years. There were no geographical or language restrictions.

RESULTS: Seventeen guidelines and 42 observational studies that reported on high-risk hyperlipidaemia patients were identified. The National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III's LDL-C target levels were the most common guidelines used for patients with very high hyperlipidaemia. However, between 68 and 96 % of patients in the studies did not achieve an LDL-C goal/dL, except in one study conducted in China (16.9 %). In high-risk patients, 61.8 to 93.8 % did not achieve a target of/dL. Regarding common comorbidities, patients with concomitant CVD or diabetes were least likely to reach their target LDL-C goals.

CONCLUSION: In patients with high risk for CVD, the majority of patients do not attain recommended LDL-C goals, highlighting worldwide suboptimal hyperlipidaemia management and missed opportunities for reduction of the patients CVD risk. Lipid-modifying management strategies need to be intensified.

Medical Subject Headings

Anticholesteremic Agents; Biomarkers; Cardiovascular Diseases; Cholesterol, LDL; Comorbidity; Down-Regulation; Humans; Hyperlipidemias; Observational Studies as Topic; Practice Guidelines as Topic; Risk Assessment; Risk Factors; Treatment Outcome

PubMed ID




First Page