Characterization and LDL-C management in a cohort of high and very high cardiovascular risk patients: The PORTRAIT-DYS study


Aim: This study aims to characterize sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, use of lipid-lowering therapies (LLTs), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) control in a population with increased cardiovascular (CV) risk.

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study that uses electronic health records of patients from one hospital and across 14 primary care health centers in the North of Portugal, spanning from 2000 to 2020 (index date). Patients presented at least (i) 1 year of clinical data before inclusion, (ii) one primary care appointment 3 years before the index date, and (iii) sufficient data for CV risk classification. Patients were divided into three cohorts: high CV risk; atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk equivalents without established ASCVD; evidence of ASCVD. CV risk and LDL-C control were defined by the 2019 and 2016 European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) dyslipidemia guidelines.

Results: A total of 51 609 patients were included, with 23 457 patients classified as high CV risk, 19 864 with ASCVD equivalents, and 8288 with evidence of ASCVD. LDL-C control with 2016 ESC/EAS guidelines was 32%, 10%, and 18% for each group, respectively. Considering the ESC/EAS 2019 guidelines control level was even lower: 7%, 3%, and 7% for the same cohorts, respectively. Patients without any LLT prescribed ranged from 37% in the high CV risk group to 15% in patients with evidence of ASCVD.

Conclusion: We found that LDL-C control was very low in patients at higher risk of CV events. An alarming gap between guidelines on dyslipidemia management and clinical implementation persists, even in those at very high risk or with established ASCVD.



LDL, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular risk, cholesterol, computerized, hypolipidemic agents, medical records systems