Cholesterol Is Not Adequately Monitored by Patients After an MI
Individuals who have experienced a myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke are 33% more likely to have another cardiovascular event. While most patients who have experienced an MI or stroke proactively try to improve their cardiovascular health, most patients do not know how cholesterol affects their health or risk for a subsequent event, according to new survey data.1
“Despite low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), or ‘bad’ cholesterol, being one of the most important risk factors for MI, an alarming number of people who have had an MI are not taking active steps to monitor and address their LDL-C,” Elizabeth Ofili, MD, MPH, professor of medicine (cardiology) at the Morehouse School of Medicine, told Cardiology Consultant.
“While MI survivors are proactively trying to improve their cardiovascular health, they may not fully understand the importance of lowering high LDL-C to reduce their risk of another MI, leaving them at risk for another event.”
The survey was conducted online from June 21, 2019, to July 18, 2019, and was completed by 3236 post-MI patients aged 40 years or older who lived in 13 different countries, including the United States and Canada.
Results showed that:
- 97% of respondents reported taking at least one key action to lower their risk for subsequent event.
- 75% reported talking to their physician about this risk, but 24% say that their physician had not discussed the role of cholesterol in MI risk.
- 33% reported not knowing what their cholesterol levels should be.
- Women are less likely than men to know their cholesterol levels and what their target levels should be.
- 63% do not believe hypercholesterolemia is a chronic condition.
- 44% do not monitor their cholesterol levels regularly.
- Younger survivors (aged 40 to 49 years) are more concerned about cardiovascular disease than their older peers.
In addition, only 1 in 5 respondents with hypercholesterolemia consider it to be a leading risk factor for a subsequent event.
“Cardiovascular disease is one of the most significant public health issues in the world today, with more than 32 million MIs and strokes occurring every year,” Dr Ofili said. “These results are important because they demonstrate that patients might not be having the right conversations with their doctors.”
Elizabeth Ofili, MD, is a professor of medicine (cardiology) at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. She also serves as director and principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Center at Morehouse. In 2000, she was the first woman to become president of the Association of Black Cardiologists.
- Heart attack survivors are taking steps to reduce their cardiovascular risk. but are they the right ones? [press release] Thousand Oaks, CA: Amgen; September 26, 2019. https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8490253-amgen-global-cholesterol-and-cardiovascular-event-survey. Accessed October 21, 2019.