Treatment pattern of familial hypercholesterolemia in Slovakia: Targets, treatment and obstacles in common practice


      • A substantial proportion of FH patients are undertreated in Slovakia.
      • Reference of FH patients to specialised clinics leads to improvement in the treatment.
      • The majority of FH patients do not reach LDL-C goal levels despite specialised management.


      Background and aims

      Maximal doses of potent statins are the cornerstone of treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Despite this, a substantial proportion of FH patients are either under-treated or not treated at all. The aim of this work was to evaluate, in a retrospective study, the treatment of FH patients, the proportion of FH patients reaching low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goals, and reasons for not reaching LDL-C goals, in 8 lipid clinics in Slovakia dealing with FH patients.


      201 heterozygous FH patients (50.8 ± 14.9 years, 55% females) who attended the lipid clinics at least three times were included in the study.


      At the first visit, 31.3% of patients were treated with statins and the most common dose was 20 mg of atorvastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin. At the third visit, 78.1% of patients were treated with statins and 24.4% with ezetimibe. The majority of patients were treated with atorvastatin (75.8%) and rosuvastatin (18.5%) and 31.3% of all patients were treated with atorvastatin 80 mg or rosuvastatin 40 mg with/without ezetimibe. However, only 11.9% of patients with the LDL-C goal level <2.5 mmol/l and 6.9% with the goal <1.8 mmol/l reached the level. Reasons for not reaching the goal levels were evaluated by physicians in each patient. Insufficient LDL-C lowering effect of treatment, side-effects of therapy and non-compliance of patients were responsible for 46%, 18% and 30% of cases, respectively.


      Referral of FH patients to lipid clinics in Slovakia leads to improvement in the treatment; however, almost 22% of the patients are still without statin treatment and the majority of patients do not reach the LDL-C goal level.


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