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Secular trends in lipid-lowering treatment and lipid levels after a first acute myocardial infarction

Authors Lena Björck, Catharina Welin, Annika Rosengren

Published 15 January 2008 Volume 2007:3(6) Pages 1045—1051

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Lena Björck1, Catharina Welin2, Annika Rosengren1

1Department of medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, Göteborg, Sweden; 2Institute of Health and Care Sciences, the Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden

Background: The beneficial effects of statins were unequivocally demonstrated in the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S) in 1994, leading to an increase in the use of lipid-lowering drugs. However, to what extent this translates into serum cholesterol levels in a real-life setting has not been systematically investigated.

Objective: To estimate secular trends from 1994 to 2002 in blood lipid levels among unselected younger patients after a first acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Method: Descriptive single centre study using consecutive data collection in 781 patients (aged <65 years) hospitalized with a first AMI during the period 1994–2002.

Results: From 1994–2002, the use of lipid-lowering drugs increased from 10% to 94% for men and from 23% to 90% for women. In 1994, the mean serum cholesterol levels were 6.53 mmol/l in men and 6.32 mmol/l in women, decreasing to 4.31 mmol/l and 5.13 mmol/l in men and women, respectively, in 2002. Still, only 56% of the men and 35% of the women had total serum cholesterol levels <4.5 mmol/l in 2002.

Conclusion: Despite a marked increase in lipid-lowering drug treatment in which there was an increase from about 10% in 1994 to more than 90% in 2002, current target levels of <4.5 mmol/l for serum cholesterol were not achieved in a significant proportion of post-AMI patients.

Keywords: lipid levels, lipid-lowering medication, myocardial infarction, risk factors

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