While the majority of patients with dyslipidaemia are currently treated with a statin, many do not achieve their recommended lipid targets, according to a new analysis.

This is the claim of the DYSlipidaemia International Study (DYSIS), funded by Merck Sharp & Dohme examining just over 22,000 statin-treated patients in 11 countries in Europe, plus Canada. The results were presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Of these patients, 15.7% were current smokers, 75.2% had hypertension, 40.6% diabetes, and 29.5% a family history of premature cardiovascular disease. Coronary heart disease was present in 38.2% of patients, cerebrovascular disease in 10% and peripheral arterial disease in 10.1%. One-third of the study population was obese and 28.4% had a metabolic syndrome.

The DYSIS study notes that nearly one in four statin-treated patients in the study population (22.8%) were not reaching their treatment goal for “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, plus had low “good” HDL-cholesterol levels and high triglycerides. Also, low HDL-cholesterol and elevated triglycerides were seen in 31.5% and 38.7%, respectively, of statin-treated patients. Less than one-third of statin-treated patients (31.3%) in the study population had no lipid abnormalities (low HDL-C, high TG or high LDL-C) based on the guidelines used in the study.

The study’s authors said preliminary results indicated that despite treatment with a statin, a high proportion of patients in the study population were not at lipid goals and/or had abnormal levels of HDL-C and triglycerides. This suggests “a potential gap between guideline recommendations and clinical practice”, they said, “and the need for more intensive and/or comprehensive lipid management in high-risk populations”.