The majority of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) treated with statins were found to have low-density lipoproteins-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels above those recommended by current guidelines, according to a study published in Atherosclerosis.

In this retrospective study, electronic medical record data from urban and rural healthcare centers in 2 regions of Finland were examined. Data analyzed included inpatient episodes, outpatient visits, prescriptions, invasive procedures, and LDL-C results for patients with ACS who visited those centers between 2011 and 2015 (n=662; median age, 71 years; 65% men). LDL-C levels at baseline, first follow-up, and final follow-up (up to 24 months) were examined to assess the impact of lipid-lowering therapy on the prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with ACS.

In this cohort, 58% of patients had been prescribed a lipid-lowering therapy before experiencing ACS. At the final follow-up, 47% and 28% of patients were taking moderate- or high-intensity lipid-lowering therapy, respectively, 32% of patients achieved the guideline-recommended LDL-C target (ie, <1.8 mmol/L).

A total of 72% and 47% of patients with baseline LDL-C levels >3.0 mmol/L and between 2.5 mmol/L and 3.0 mmol/L, respectively had their LDL-C levels reduced by >25% at the last follow-up. From the first to the last follow-up, 21% of patients fluctuated between being on or above the 1.8 mmol/L LDL-C target.

Continue Reading

Study limitations include its retrospective design and the lack of data on statin adherence and CAD risk factors (eg, obesity, smoking, and blood pressure) that could have affected LDL-C levels.

Related Articles

 “LDL-C levels should be monitored at least on a yearly basis on follow-up visits and treatment adapted accordingly,” noted the study authors.

Disclosure: This clinical trial was supported by Amgen. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Leskelä RL, Torvinen A, Rissanen TT, et al. Outcomes of lipid control in secondary prevention of coronary artery disease in Finland: a 24-month follow-up after acute coronary syndrome. Atherosclerosis. 2020;296:4-10.