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Ir J Med Sci. 2013 Dec;182(4):673-8. doi: 10.1007/s11845-013-0954-6. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Lipid targets in clinical practice: successes, failures and lessons to be learned.

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Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, Co Dublin, Ireland.



Optimal risk factor control is integral to managing patients with proven coronary heart disease (CHD+) and for those at risk of coronary heart disease (CHD-). The primary aim of the study was to assess the success rate of reaching lipid risk factor targets in a multiple risk factor clinic.


A retrospective audit was conducted in 488 patients (CHD+, n = 112; CHD-, n = 376) who attended the Cardiovascular Risk Factor Clinic at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin in 2009 and 2010.


Risk factor targets achieved in CHD+ and CHD- patients were LDLc (54/62 %), HDLc (67/67 %), systolic blood pressure (35/38 %), diastolic blood pressure (82/75 %), smoking cessation (27/26 %), BMI ≤ 30 (39/50 %) and normal waist circumference (27/39 %). Patients not reaching LDLc targets were found to be receiving fewer lipid-lowering drugs and having higher LDL levels at the initial clinic visit than those reaching targets.


This retrospective audit highlights gaps in achieving target lipid levels at a multiple risk factor clinic level. High initial LDLc levels and lack of drug titration are evident. Guideline changes, staff rotation, clinic visit frequency and multiplicity of targets may be contributory. More emphasis needs to be placed on education and algorithm-based strategies to achieve better risk factor control.

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