Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Physician Adherence to Blood Cholesterol Guidelines

Less than half of acute atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) patients were treated according to American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines, reports a new study. The recent analysis used electronic medical record (EMR) and patient chart data to evaluate physician adherence to the 2013 ACC/AHA blood cholesterol guidelines while treating patients with evidence of ASCVD. Among the findings:

  • < 50% of acute ASCVD patients were treated according to the guidelines.
  • Nearly 42% of patients not treated according to guidelines received a lower statin intensity than recommended.
  • The most common reason named by 41.8% of physicians for treating with a statin intensity below the recommended intensity was low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) stable or at goal, despite ACC/AHA guidelines recommending specific statin intensities rather than LDL-C specific LDL-C levels.


Ramsaran E, Preusse P, Sundaresan D, et l. Adherence to blood cholesterol treatment guidelines among physicians managing patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. [Published online ahead of print April 23, 2019]. Am J Cardiol. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.04.017.