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Patients "failing" over cholesterol

A new study suggests that nearly a third of people who are at risk of having a heart attack remain in danger after they have sought medical help.

The European research reveals that 32% of people with critically high cholesterol in Ireland are failing to bring their levels into an area known as the "safe zone" even after they have been given treatment.

However, the research suggests that despite the large proportion of patients who remain at risk, Irish doctors are among the best in treating the life-threatening condition.

In seven other European countries polled for the study almost half (45%) of vulnerable patients remained in danger of a cardiac arrest after seeking treatment.

Professor John Feely, of St James's Hospital and Trinity College in Dublin, co-ordinated the research which was designed to see if modern lipid lowering drugs, such as statins, are helping patients control their cholesterol.

"Compliant patients who returned to their GP regularly did best, as did those who only forgot to take their medicine once in 2-4 weeks compared with people who forgot more than once a week," he said.

The findings were presented by the International Society for Pharmacoeconomic and Outcomes Research at its annual European congress in Dublin.

International Society for Pharmacoeconomic and Outcomes Research

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Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"Compliance is a huge issue, often poorly understood by health professionals and remembering to take tablets regularly in a busy life is not easy. Statins are also not taken at the same time of day as many other once-a- day tablets, which means that people need a separate reminder system specifically for them.  Maybe we need to try and help people to find ways to remember, as well as stressing that missing some doses really does make a difference, with all medication that is prescribed" - Elisabeth, Leicester