May 20, 2016
2 min read

Study highlights no change in US lipid profiles despite rising use of lipid-lowering therapies

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NEW ORLEANS — Average lipid profiles of adults in the United States did not change between 2003 and 2012, despite an observed increase in the use of lipid-lowering therapies, according to research presented at the National Lipid Association Scientific Sessions.

Lipid-lowering therapies have risen in use for management of dyslipidemia, but the influence of that increased use on lipid levels of the U.S. population was not known, according to the study background.

“Despite an increase in the use of [lipid-lowering therapies], we observed no trend for change in lipid profiles in low-, intermediate- or high-risk men and women in the U.S. population,” Peter P. Toth, MD, PhD, FAAFP, FNLA, FAHA, director of preventative cardiology at the CGH Medical Center, Sterling, Illinois, and colleagues wrote in an abstract.

Peter P. Toth

Peter P. Toth

The researchers assessed risk for CHD in 11,256 U.S. adults using National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria and based on responses to NHANES surveys from 2003-2004 to 2011-2012. Using fasting serum values, the researchers determined lipid profiles of men and women in low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups, and calculated the portion of participants in each group receiving lipid-lowering therapies.

The use of lipid-lowering therapies was significantly increased in the low-risk group from 6% in 2003-2004 to 11% in 2011-2012 (P < .0001) and also in the high-risk group from 41% in 2003-2004 to 52% in 2011-2012 (P < .008).

Only women in the high-risk group showed a possible trend for reduction in median triglyceride levels (2003-2004, 170, mg/dL; 2011-2012, 127 mg/dL). However, this finding not be reliable because of a small sample size and high variability, according to the researchers.

In all risk categories for both sexes, there was no obvious change in LDL, HDL and non-HDL levels, Toth and colleagues found. Mean HDL levels, however, were consistently higher among women than in men in all risk groups.

The lack of change in lipid profiles “may be due to the variability in response to [lipid-lowering therapy], and highlights the need for more aggressive identification and treatment of high-risk individuals, as recommended in the [American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association cholesterol] guideline,” Toth and colleagues concluded. – by Dave Quaile


Toth PP, et al. Abstract 111. Presented at: National Lipid Association Scientific Sessions; May 19-22, 2016; New Orleans.

Disclosure: The study was funded in part by AstraZeneca. Toth reports consulting/advising for Amgen, AstraZeneca, Kowa, Merck, Novartis, Regeneron and Sanofi and serving on speaker’s bureaus for Amarin, AstraZeneca, Genzyme, GlaxoSmithKline, Kowa and Merck.