Community pharmacies offer a potential high-yield and convenient arena for total cholesterol and CVD risk screening

Karianne Svendsen, David R. Jacobs, Ida Tonning Røyseth, Kjersti Wilhelmsen Garstad, Marte Gjeitung Byfuglien, Linda Granlund, Lisa T. Mørch-Reiersen, Vibeke H. Telle-Hansen, Kjetil Retterstøl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Moderately elevated blood total cholesterol (TC), blood glucose (BG) and blood pressure (BP) are rarely symptomatic and as such many individuals remain untreated. We studied the yield of an in-pharmacy screening for identifying undetected high TC and strategies to reach those with absence of prior measurement of TC, BG and BP.

Methods: A cross-sectional TC screening study with complementary TC measurements and self-administered questionnaire was conducted for 1 week in each of 2012 and 2014 in 148 and 149 BootsTM Norge AS community pharmacies nationwide in Norway.

Results: Non-medicated adults (n = 21 090) with mean age 54.5 ± 16.0 were included. The study population resembled the Norwegian population in regards to body mass index, educational level, smokers and physical inactivity level, but with an overrepresentation of middle-aged women. Of 20 743 with available data, 11% (n = 2337) were unaware of their high TC ≥7.0 mmol/L, and an additional 8% were unaware of TC ≥6.2 mmol/L. More than 40% of the study sample had not measured TC or BG before. In order for future screenings to reach those who are less likely to have previously measured TC and BG, our results suggest that young, low-educated, overweight men and women should be targeted for TC measurement, whereas normal weigh men in all ages should be targeted for BG measurement.

Conclusions: In total 19% in an in-pharmacy screening were unaware of their elevated TC of ≥6.2 mmol/L. We also identified characteristics that could be used reach those who are less likely to have measured TC and BG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean journal of public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis
  • Cholesterol/blood
  • Community Pharmacy Services/organization & administration
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening/organization & administration
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Pharmacies/organization & administration

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Journal Article


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