Attainment of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol goals in patients treated with combination therapy: A retrospective cohort study in primary care

Clara Marquina, Stella Talic, Ella Zomer, Sandra Vargas-Torres, Marjana Petrova, Rory Wolfe, Dina Abushanab, Sean Lybrand, David Thomson, Giles Stratton, Richard Ofori-Asenso, Danny Liew, Zanfina Ademi

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The attainment of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) therapeutic goals in real-world settings among patients receiving combination lipid-lowering therapy (LLT, statins plus non-statins) is not well characterised. Objective: To evaluate LDL-C levels and LDL-C goal attainment in patients treated with combination LLT in real-world primary care settings. 

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of patients treated with combination LLT. Data were drawn from general practitioner electronic medical records across Australia from 2013 to 2019. The on-treatment goal for LDL-C was < 2 mmol/L (77 mg/dL), as per Australian guidelines. 

Results: The cohort analysed included 9,173 individuals treated with combination LLT. The mean age was 65.8 years (standard deviation [SD] 11.5), 60.1% were males, and 56.7% had at least one cardiovascular risk factor. The median on-treatment LDL-C was 2.1 mmol/L (IQR 1.6-2.8), and overall 45.4% of the cohort met LDL-C goals, with individuals on fixed-dose combination of statins plus ezetimibe having the highest rates of achievement (49.8%). In multivariable logistic regression analyses, factors associated with LDL-C goal achievement were male sex (odds ratio [OR] 1.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-1.6, p < 0.001), aged >80 years (OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.5 – 6.6, p = 0.006), and a history of T2DM (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.5-1.9, p < 0.001) or coronary heart disease (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2 – 1.6, p < 0.001). 

Conclusions: More than half of Australians on combination LLT did not achieve LDL-C goals. Urgent measures are needed to address this gap in clinical practice to minimise negative health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-507
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Dyslipidaemia
  • LDL-C lowering
  • Non-statins
  • Statins

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