Skip to main content
LDL-C target attainment in secondary prevention of ASCVD in the United States: barriers, consequences of nonachievement, and strategies to reach goals. Postgraduate medicine Underberg, J., Toth, P. P., Rodriguez, F. 2022


Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. Elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a major causal risk factor for ASCVD. Current evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that lowering LDL-C reduces the risk of secondary cardiovascular events in patients with previous myocardial infarction or stroke. There is no lower limit for LDL-C: large, randomized studies and meta-analyses have found continuous benefit and no safety concerns in patients achieving LDL-C levels <25 mg/dL. As 'Time is plaque' in patients with ASCVD, early, sustained reductions in LDL-C are critical to slow or halt disease progression. However, despite use of lipid-lowering medications, <30% of patients with ASCVD achieve guideline-recommended reductions in LDL-C, resulting in a substantial societal burden of preventable cardiovascular events and early mortality. LDL-C goals are not met due to several factors: lipid-lowering therapy is not initiated and intensified as directed by clinical guidelines (clinical inertia); most patients do not adhere to prescribed medications; and high-risk patients are frequently denied access to add-on therapies by their insurance providers. Promoting patient and clinician education, multidisciplinary collaboration, and other interventions may help to overcome these barriers. Ultimately, achieving population-level guideline-recommended reductions in LDL-C will require a collaborative effort from patients, clinicians, relevant professional societies, drug manufacturers, and payers.

View details for DOI 10.1080/00325481.2022.2117498

View details for PubMedID 36004573