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The current national target in the UK for total cholesterol is 5 mmol/L. The Primary Care Data Quality (PCDQ) programme reported in 2002 that only 50% of patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) achieved the 5 mmol/L target and we report on progress since then. Routinely collected general practice computer data were extracted in two successive data collections in 2003 and 2004/05 and analysed. The standardised prevalence of CHD recorded in GP computer systems rose from 3.8% to 4.0% from 2002 to 2004/5. In patients with CHD, cholesterol recording rose from 47.6% to 89.0%, the percentage of patients receiving a statin rose from 49.4% to 71.5% and mean cholesterol levels fell from 5.18 to 4.67 mmol/L. The proportion of CHD patients with a cholesterol recording achieving the 5 mmol/L target increased from 44.7% to 67.7%. Overall, 53.1 % of patients with cardiovascular disease had total cholesterol below 5 mmol/L. Patients with CHD achieved better cholesterol control than those with stroke (4.87 mmol/L) or peripheral vascular disease (PVD) (4.79 mmol/L) and a higher percentage of patients achieved the 5 mmol/L target (60.1% versus 43.3% and 49.9% respectively). There remains scope for improved management of cholesterol in primary care and greater efforts are needed to see that more patients with cardiovascular disease benefit from best practice.


Journal article


British Journal of Cardiology

Publication Date





145 - 153