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Is lipid-lowering therapy underused by African Americans at high risk of coronary heart disease within the VA health care system?

Woodard LD, Kressin NR, Petersen LA. Is lipid-lowering therapy underused by African Americans at high risk of coronary heart disease within the VA health care system? American journal of public health. 2004 Dec 1; 94(12):2112-7.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: We examined whether racial differences exist in cholesterol monitoring, use of lipid-lowering agents, and achievement of guideline-recommended low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. METHODS: We reviewed charts for 1045 African American and White patients with coronary heart disease at 5 Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. RESULTS: Lipid levels were obtained in 67.0% of patients. Whites and African Americans had similar screening rates and mean lipid levels. Among the 544 ideal candidates for therapy, rates of treatment and achievement of target LDL levels were similar. CONCLUSIONS: We found no disparities in cholesterol management. This absence of disparities may be the result of VA quality improvement initiatives or prescription coverage through the VA health care system.





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