(HealthDay News) — Many patients are not being treated in accordance with the 2013 American College of Cardiology/America Heart Association (ACC/AHA) cholesterol guidelines, according to a study published in the Dec. 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Thomas M. Maddox, M.D., from the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver, and colleagues examined the impact of the 2013 ACC/AHA cholesterol guidelines on current U.S. cardiovascular practice. They assessed current practice patterns as a function of the 2013 cholesterol guidelines using the National Cardiovascular Data Registry Practice Innovation and Clinical Excellence registry data.

The researchers found that 96.1 percent among a cohort of 1,174,545 patients were statin-eligible (91.2 percent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease [ASCVD]; 6.6 percent diabetes; 0.3 percent off-treatment low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ≥190 mg/dL; 1.9 percent estimated 10-year ASCVD risk ≥7.5 percent). Overall, 32.4 percent of patients were not receiving statin therapy and 22.6 percent were receiving non-statin therapies. A total of 20.8 percent of patients had two or more low-density lipoprotein cholesterol assessments during the study period, and 7.0 percent had more than four assessments.

“Achieving concordance with the new cholesterol guidelines in patients treated in U.S. cardiovascular practices would result in significant increases in statin use, as well as significant reductions in non-statin therapies and laboratory testing,” the authors write.

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