Background: One in every six adults (16.3% of the U.S. adult population) has high total cholesterol levels, and they are at double the risk of heart disease compared with people with optimal levels. Objective: To evaluate compliance of internal medicine residents with the latest National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) guidelines in treating patients with hyperlipidemia. Design: Retrospective observational study. Setting: Ambulatory Clinic, Saint Vincent Hospital, Worcester, Massachusetts. Patients: Patients with a diagnosis of hyperlipidemia who attended the clinic during a 1-ear period, from December 2009 to November 2010. Measurements: A review of medical records was conducted to evaluate residents' compliance with the NCEP-ATP III guidelines for LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol management. Results: Seven hundred seventy charts were reviewed. Only 212 (27.5%) met the inclusion criteria. Analysis of data revealed better compliance with drug therapy (44%-77%) and therapeutic lifestyle changes (44%-83%) when compared with follow-up recommendations (22%-31%). An increase in compliance also was noted in all areas of intervention when patients had an abnormal lipid profile. Limitations: Compliance was assessed on the basis of electronic medical record documentation alone and hence we may be underestimating compliance with therapeutic lifestyle changes and follow-up recommendations. Conclusion: Compliance among internal medicine residents in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients with hyperlipidemia according to NCEP-ATP III guidelines was suboptimal and needs improvement.
- Low-density lipoprotein
- National Cholesterol Educational Program Adult Treatment Panel
- Non-high-density lipoprotein
- Target LDL level
- Target non-HDL level