About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Irregular Cholesterol Check in Australia may Hide Risk of Heart Disease

by Chrisy Ngilneii on March 9, 2018 at 8:27 PM
Font : A-A+

Irregular Cholesterol Check in Australia may Hide Risk of Heart Disease

Haphazard cholesterol checks put Australians at risk of heart disease, research at the Western Sydney University, Capital Markets CRC, University of Sydney, and the University of Adelaide finds.

Advertisement


The results of their research reveal:
  • 49 percent of patients on medications to lower their cholesterol did not have the recommended annual HDL-C test in a given year.
  • 19 percent of the same population received more HDL-C tests than were necessary.
  • The yearly expenditure associated with test overutilization was approximately A$4.3 million, while the cost averted because of test underutilization was approximately A$11.3 million per year.
Using the PBS data, the researchers collated the de-identified records of patients who received stable prescriptions of cholesterol lowering medications over a 7-year period from 2008 to 2014 - who could, therefore, be determined as being at high risk of developing heart disease. As patient records are linked to the MBS, it was then possible to determine if these same patients received the recommended, annual High-Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol (HDL-C) test from their GP.

Dr Evan Atlantis, from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University, says the results suggest that one-fifth of patients are receiving too many, unnecessary tests - while half are not having their blood cholesterol levels sufficiently monitored.
Advertisement

"Cholesterol tests are being administered in a haphazard manner - with some patients being tested too frequently and others not enough," says Dr Atlantis.

The BMJ Open paper explores several possible explanations for this finding. One points to a lack in continuity of care and to the fact that often people see multiple practitioners at once.

"If there is no designated 'medical home' for the patient, it is not clear who bears the responsibility for managing cardiovascular risk. In this scenario, it is not surprising that many individuals may miss their annual cholesterol tests," says Dr Atlantis.

"Another contributing factor may be the lack of continuity in medical records. It is entirely possible that practitioners are not aware that some of their patients are on cholesterol medications and therefore do not take the recommended action in ordering tests.

"Another possibility is that medical practitioners are making a clinical choice not to follow the current guidelines on blood cholesterol monitoring."

Dr Atlantis - together with co-researcher Dr Katy Bell from the University of Sydney - suggests that medical practitioners' widespread non-adherence may be evidence that the guidelines warrant review.

"If there is high-level evidence that the recommended frequency of tests leads to improved health outcomes, then the potential underutilization of these tests in Australia warrants further attention," says Dr Bell.

The study also identified the Federal Health Budget implications of the underutilization of cholesterol tests.

During the study period, the yearly expenditure associated with test overutilization was approximately A$4.3 million, while the cost averted because of test underutilization was approximately A$11.3 million per year.

"While cost-saving, the long-term health consequences of under-utilizing HDL-C test are unknown and any increase in heart disease in Australia would result in a financial burden that cannot be ignored," says Dr Atlantis.

Farshid Hajati - who developed the methodology to conduct the study and analyzed the data - pointed out that there is great potential for data of this type to benefit the public. "The next step is to quantify the consequences of not receiving the recommended level of cholesterol testing, to strengthen the current recommendations on testing frequency."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
January is the Thyroid Awareness Month in 2022
Menstrual Disorders
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cholesterol High Cholesterol Cardiac Catheterization Heart Attack Air travel: To fly or not to fly Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Body Mass Index Silent Killer Diseases Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical Liposuction 

Recommended Reading
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is produced by the body (liver) and is essential for normal body functioning....
Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical
The word 'Cholesterol' rings danger bells as soon as it is mentioned. This important chemical is .....
High Cholesterol
High cholesterol level in blood are a risk for heart disease and stroke. They get deposited in the ....
Heart Attack- Lifestyle risks
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Simple guidelines to ......
Air travel: To fly or not to fly
Air travel is for everyone, even those with medical conditions....
Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool that is generally used to estimate the total amount of body f...
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac catheterization is a radiological procedure for both diagnosis and treatment of heart condit...
Heart Attack
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Heart disease is the lead...
Liposuction
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, which is used to suck out the excess or abnormal fat deposition...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)