Levintow SN, Reading SR, Noshad S, Mayer SE, Wiener C, Eledath B, Exter J, Brookhart MA. Lipid testing trends before and after hospitalization for myocardial infarction among adults in the United States, 2008-2019. Clin Epidemiol. 2022 Jun 1;2022(14):737-48. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S361258

BACKGROUND: Routine monitoring of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) identifies patients who may benefit from modifying lipid-lowering therapies (LLT). However, the extent to which LDL-C testing is occurring in clinical practice is unclear, specifically among patients hospitalized for a myocardial infarction (MI).

METHODS: Using US commercial claims data, we identified patients with an incident MI hospitalization between 01/01/2008-03/31/2019. LDL-C testing was assessed in the year before admission (pre-MI) and the year after discharge (post-MI). Changes in LDL-C testing were evaluated using a Poisson model fit to pre-MI rates and extrapolated to the post-MI period. We predicted LDL-C testing rates if no MI had occurred (ie, based on pre-MI trends) and estimated rate differences and ratios (contrasting observed vs predicted rates).

RESULTS: Overall, 389,367 patients were hospitalized for their first MI during the study period. In the month following discharge, 9% received LDL-C testing, increasing to 27% at 3 months and 52% at 12 months. Mean rates (tests per 1000 patients per month) in the pre- and post-MI periods were 51.9 (95% CI: 51.7, 52.1) and 84.4 (95% CI: 84.1, 84.6), respectively. Over 12 months post-MI, observed rates were higher than predicted rates; the maximum rate difference was 66 tests per 1000 patients in month 2 (rate ratio 2.2), stabilizing at a difference of 15– 20 (ratio 1.2– 1.3) for months 6– 12.

CONCLUSION: Although LDL-C testing increased following MI hospitalization, rates remained lower than recommended by clinical guidelines. This highlights a potential gap in care, where increased LDL-C testing after MI may provide opportunities for LLT modification and decrease risk of subsequent cardiovascular events.

Share on: