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Can J Public Health. 2013 Apr 24;104(3):e252-7.

Dyslipidemia prevalence, treatment, control, and awareness in the Canadian Health Measures Survey.

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Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.



The most recent Canadian population-level data on lipid levels are from 1992. This study presents current estimates of Canadians with dyslipidemia, the proportion aware of their condition, and the proportion being treated and below target values.


The Canadian Health Measures Survey (2007-2009) assessed the prevalence, awareness and treatment of dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia was defined as TC/HDL-C ratio ≥5; measured LDL-C ≥3.5 mmol/L; or taking lipid-modifying medications. The 2009 guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of dyslipidemia were used to define low, moderate or high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and treatment initiation and targets.


Forty-five percent of Canadians aged 18-79 years have dyslipidemia. Fifty-seven percent of respondents were not aware of their condition. Lipid-modifying therapy was initiated in individuals where treatment would be recommended in 49%, 20% and 54% of those at high, moderate, and low risk levels, respectively. The majority (81%) of those taking medication had their lipid levels under desirable levels, however, only 24% of those with dyslipidemia reported medication use. Overall, only 19% of those with dyslipidemia had their lipids under recommended levels. Only 41% of those taking lipid-modifying medication reached a recommended target of LDL-C <2 mmol/L or ApoB <0.8 g/L.


There is still a high proportion of Canadians at high risk of CVD, with dyslipidemia, who are not being treated to recommended levels. These data need to be integrated into CVD reduction recommendations and represent an important baseline for assessing progress.


Canada; Dyslipidemias; guidelines; health surveys; population

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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