Characterization and cholesterol management in patients with cardiovascular events and/or type 2 diabetes in the Netherlands

OBJECTIVE: To describe clinical characteristics and cholesterol management of patients with cardiovascular events (CVEs) and/or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) with high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) > 1.8 mmol/L in the Netherlands. RSEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: From the PHARMO Database Network a cross-sectional cohort was constructed. The descriptive study included patients on lipid modifying therapy (LMT) in 2009, classified as high cardiovascular risk based on a history of T2DM or CVE, with 2010 LDL-C levels above 1.8 mmol/L (2011 European Society of Cardiology [ESC] target). Sub-cohorts were created: T2DM + CVE from the T2DM cohort and multiple CVE from the CVE only cohort. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Clinical characteristics and drugtreatment were determined at the time of the last LDL-C measurement in 2010. RESULTS: Of 10,864 very high risk patients, 66% had T2DM, 37% of whom also had CVE. In the CVE only cohort (34%), 18% had multiple events. More regular check-ups skewed inclusion towards diabetes patients. T2DM vs. CVE cohort characteristics were: 53% vs. 63% male, 42% vs. 27% obese, 19% vs. 24% current smoker, 54% vs. 51% systolic blood pressure <140 mmHg, with similar proportions in the sub-cohorts. Proportions reaching the Dutch guideline LDL-C target of <2.5 mmol/L were 56% (T2DM), 57% (T2DM + CVE), 48% (CVE only) and 53% (multiple CVE only). Frequencies of high intensity dose statin (simvastatin >/=80 mg, atorvastatin >/=40 mg or rosuvastatin >/=20 mg) were 6% (T2DM), 9%(T2DM + CVE, CVE only) and 14% (multiple CVE only); 1-2% received additional ezetimibe and 3-5% received non-statin LMT only, including ezetimibe. CONCLUSION: Despite LMT, >40% of the patients above ESC target also failed to reach the less stringent Dutch target, even in the higher risk groups. Therefore, management of hypercholesterolemia after CVE or T2DM should be optimized to improve cardiovascular outcomes. There is substantial room for improving other cardiovascular risk factors.

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