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Are GPs “lax” on cholesterol targets?

A recent study of 25,250 patients in Germany, published in the European Heart Journal, has found that only about half were given the correct targets for lowering cholesterol.

Professor Mike Kirby comments on this: “This study from Germany confirms that many GPs on the continent are not aware of the correct targets for cholesterol in their patients, both with known heart disease and at risk of future heart disease. This may also be the case in the UK, although the Quality Outcomes Framework and the NHS Health Checks Programme have both raised awareness recently.

The key is for both men and women to ‘know their numbers’. For cholesterol ‘lower is better’; total cholesterol should be less thatn 5 mmol/l and LDL cholesterol less than 3 mmol/l. For people with risk factors for future heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or smoking, and those with known heart or vascular disease, the levels are lowe – total cholesterol should be less than 4, and LDL cholesterol less than 2. Ideally, HDL (good) cholesterol should be around 1.5. To achieve this, a healthy lifestyle that includes daily exercise and a Mediterranean style diet, low in salt is recommended.”

To read more about this study, click here.

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