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Doctors' knowledge, attitudes, and compliance with 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines for prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in Singapore

Authors Setia S, Fung SS, Waters D

Received 12 February 2015

Accepted for publication 1 April 2015

Published 4 June 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 303—310

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S82710

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Daniel Duprez


Sajita Setia,1 Selwyn Sze-Wang Fung,2 David D Waters3

1Medical Affairs, Pfizer Pte Ltd, Singapore; 2Regional Medical Affairs, Pfizer Pte Ltd, Hong Kong; 3Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA

Purpose: There is an unmet need for strategies to prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in Singapore. The main objective of this study was to investigate Singapore physicians’ response to the 2013 American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines for treatment of cholesterol and their impact on clinical practice.
Methods: This survey was conducted in two stages, qualitative and quantitative. Physicians were initially screened on the basis of an initial screener questionnaire, and eligible physicians were then included in the study.
Results: Qualitative (n=19) and quantitative (n=66) surveys were completed by eligible physicians from Singapore. Physicians were less familiar with the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines (35%) as compared with the Singapore Ministry of Health (MoH) lipid guidelines 2006 (49%). Of the physicians whose opinion was sought on the ACC/AHA guidelines, more than 50% disagreed with the definition of high-, moderate-, and low-intensity statin therapy; recommendation of atorvastatin 40–80 mg and rosuvastatin 20–40 mg as medications for high-intensity statin therapy; and classification of individuals who would benefit from moderate- to high-intensity statin therapy. Most physicians assumed that Asians may be intolerant to high-intensity statin therapy.
Conclusion: Although embracing the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines in clinical practice is expected to provide better clinical care to patients, our study revealed high reluctance by physicians, especially in the use of high-dose statins. However, ACC/AHA guidelines can be easily adopted in Asia as there is a wealth of data available for atorvastatin in primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease with similar efficacy and safety profiles in the white and Asian populations.


Keywords: cholesterol treatment, cardiovascular disease, statin therapy, CVD risk factors, LDL target levels

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