Abstract P214: Patient and Physician Factors Influence Decision-Making in Hypercholesterolemia
Objectives: Little is known about how patient factors influence physicians’ treatment decision-making in hypercholesterolemia. We surveyed physicians’ treatment recommendations in high-risk patients with LDL-C not controlled on statin monotherapy.
Methods: Physicians completed a questionnaire pre-randomization for each patient in a double-blind trial (NCT01154036) assessing LDL-C goal attainment rates with different treatment strategies. Patients had LDL-C ≥100 mg/dL after 5 weeks’ atorvastatin 10 mg/day and before randomization. Physicians were asked about treatment recommendations for three scenarios: (1) LDL-C near goal (100-105 mg/dL), (2) LDL-C far from goal (120 mg/dL), then (3) known baseline LDL-C of enrolled patients on atorvastatin 10 mg/day. Factors considered in their choice were specified. Physicians had been informed of projected LDL-C reductions for each treatment strategy in the trial. Regression analysis identified prognostic factors associated with each scenario, and projected LDL-C values for physicians’ treatment choices were compared to actual LDL-C values achieved in the trial.
Results: Physicians at 296 sites completed questionnaires for 1535 patients. The most common treatment strategies for all three scenarios were: 1) not to change therapy, 2) double atorvastatin dose, 3) add ezetimibe, 4) double atorvastatin dose and add ezetimibe. Doubling atorvastatin dose was the most common treatment recommendation in all scenarios (43-52% of patients). ‘No change in therapy’ was recommended in 6.5% of patients when LDL-C was assumed far from goal. Treatment recommendations were more aggressive if actual LDL-C was known or considered far from goal. When compared with the ‘no change in therapy’ recommendation, CV risk factors and desire to achieve a more aggressive LDL-C goal were generally considered in decision-making for each treatment choice, regardless of LDL-C scenario. Patients randomized to a more aggressive regimen than recommended by physicians had larger reductions in LDL-C: the actual reduction in LDL-C in patients randomized to ‘add ezetimibe’ was -20.8% versus a projected reduction of -10.0% when physicians recommended ‘doubling atorvastatin dose’.
Conclusions: This study provides insight into physicians’ perspectives on clinical management of hypercholesterolemia and highlights a gap in knowledge translation from guidelines to clinical practice. Targeting lower LDL-C and CV risk were key drivers in clinical decision-making but, generally, physicians were more conservative in their treatment choice than guidelines recommend, which may result in poorer LDL-C reduction. When compared with actual outcomes, projected LDL-C control was better if physicians used more comprehensive strategies rather than simply doubling the statin dose.
Author Disclosures: M. Krempf: B. Research Grant; Modest; Abbott, Amgen, Astra Zeneca, BMS, Merck and Co, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis. G. Consultant/Advisory Board; Modest; Abbott, Amgen, Astra Zeneca, BMS, Merck and Co, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis. R.J. Simpson: C. Other Research Support; Significant; Merck, Amgen. E. Honoraria; Significant; Merck, Pfizer. D.R. Ramey: A. Employment; Significant; Merck & Co, Inc.. F. Ownership Interest; Modest; Merck. P. Brudi: A. Employment; Significant; Merck & Co, Inc. H. Giezek: A. Employment; Significant; Merck & Co, Inc. R. Lee: A. Employment; Significant; Merck & Co, Inc. M. Farnier: C. Other Research Support; Significant; Amgen, Merck, Sanofi. D. Speakers Bureau; Modest; Amgen, Sanofi. D. Speakers Bureau; Significant; Merck. E. Honoraria; Modest; Abbott, Eli Lilly, Pfizer. G. Consultant/Advisory Board; Modest; AstraZeneca, Roche, Kowa, Recordati, SMB, Eli Lilly. G. Consultant/Advisory Board; Significant; Amgen, Sanofi, Merck.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.