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August 1989

Improvement in Family Physician Recognition and Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(8):1754-1755. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390080040010

• Physician management of hypercholesterolemia has been poor in the past. This study investigates the effect of education and laboratory report changes on cholesterol management. Three chart audits were performed on 146 patients with cholesterol levels above 6.21 mmol/L. The first audit occurred before and the second audit shortly after the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) issued their new recommendations. The recognition rate of hypercholesterolemia improved significantly after the NCEP guidelines were released. A similar significant improvement was noted in the number of patients asked to have a repeated cholesterol determination, and the number treated with diet. The third audit, after the laboratory changed its normal cholesterol range, showed a smaller improvement that was statistically insignificant. These results suggest that the NCEP guidelines are affecting physician practice.

(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:1754-1755)