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The aim of this study was to audit the management of hyperlipidaemia in a cohort of 206 consecutive patients, with known or suspected coronary artery disease, referred for diagnostic coronary angiography. The association of lipid subfraction values with the presence and extent of coronary artery disease was explored to identify the indices of greatest potential value to the hospital cardiologist, in the management of secondary prevention. Patients were questioned about previous lipid tests performed, advice received and treatment prescribed. Referral letters and hospital notes were reviewed to identify documentation of lipid results and treatment strategies. De novo fasting lipid estimations were obtained on 205 subjects at the time of catheterization. In only 46/206 (22%) cases was some form of lipid result recorded in the existing hospital notes or referral documentation. No patient was aware of the levels of the high or low density lipoprotein cholesterol subfractions (HDL, LDL) nor were these specifically recorded, or the subject of clinical comment, in any of the referral documentation. Patients who knew their total cholesterol (in mmol.1-1) result either as a value or as a "high' or "normal' categorization proved accurate witnesses. In keeping with other angiographic studies, we found that low values of HDL and high TC/HDL ratios were significantly associated with both disease presence and extent. Total cholesterol, calculated LDL and triglyceride levels had no such association. In the group as a whole and despite current therapy, 169/206 (82%) patients had a total cholesterol > 5.2 and 163/206 (79%) a TC/HDL ratio > 5. Only 22 (11%) patients were on drug therapy with a further 43 (21%) practising dietary modification. In the vast majority of subjects receiving some form of lipid intervention, target lipid levels had not been achieved. This study identifies the need for more intensive management of hyperlipidaemia in patients with coronary artery disease. Knowledge of HDL levels may be of value in guiding lipid secondary prevention management in the patient population evaluated at an angiographic centre.

Original publication




Journal article


European heart journal

Publication Date





1657 - 1662


Royal Brompton Hospital, London, U.K.


Humans, Coronary Disease, Lipids, Coronary Angiography, Risk Factors, Prospective Studies, Age Factors, Sex Factors, Middle Aged, Disease Management, Medical Audit, Female, Male, Hyperlipidemias, Cardiac Catheterization