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Statin use still not adequate in spite of CHD framework

The proportion of patients with coronary heart disease prescribed statins has risen just 7 per cent since the introduction of the national service framework in 2000, a major study has revealed.

It also revealed a rise of just 1.4 per cent in the number of CHD patients with cholesterol levels under the recommended 5mmol/l in the two years since publication of the framework.

The researchers said greater effort was needed by GPs to identify patients who should be taking statins and warned more creative implementation strategies were needed to

successfully reach cholesterol target levels.

Study leader Dr Adrian Brady, consultant cardiologist at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow, reviewed statin treatment between 1999 and 2002 in nearly 12,000 patients with CHD across 400 GP practices.

The proportion of patients on statins rose from 46.2 per cent in 2000 to 53.2 per cent in 2002.

The results showed the number of CHD patients with cholesterol levels under 5mmol/l increased from 45.6 per cent in 2000 to 47 per cent in 2002.

Dr Brady said: 'Despite the publication of the NSF on CHD in 2000 and associated publicity in the medical and lay press, statin use in CHD patients has grown slowly in recent years.'

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