Reported treatment of hypercholesterolemia by family physicians in Sweden and Minnesota

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Abstract

Swedish guidelines on treatment of hyperlipidemia recommend higher cut-off levels for initiating treatment than do American guidelines, but are virtually identical for instituting and performing therapy. The aim of this study was to compare family physicians' reported practices in Sweden and Minnesota. We selected random samples of family physicians in southern Sweden and Minnesota for telephone interviews. Participation rates were 236/264 (89%) and 183/209 (88%), respectively. Swedish and Minnesota physicians adhered to their guidelines on cut-off levels in a case describing a 48-year-old man but, contrary to guidelines, reported higher cut-off levels for a 65-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman. In all cases described, Swedish physicians reported significantly higher cut-off levels. Swedish physicians were less prone to institute medication in older patients and less familiar with drugs. Minnesota physicians were more inclined to advise nicotinic acid derivatives (P < .0001 for all patient categories). Swedish physicians more frequently preferred resins (P = .00029) or fibrates (P = .0028) for the 48-year-old man and resins for the 65-year-old man (P = .0026). Despite common medical knowledge, the two medical communities are directed by different guidelines. Although adherence to cut-off levels was equally high in both groups, the use of lipid-lowering drugs has not become a familiar part of the therapeutic armamentarium for Swedish family physicians.

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  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-328
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume11
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes