MB Clearfied, S Fedorko, ME McKinney. Physician awareness of elevated cholesterol. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1990;90(2):139. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19220.127.116.11.
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Recent studies suggest a heightened awareness of the association between elevated cholesterol and heart disease. Physician awareness of an elevated cholesterol level was investigated at a university-affiliated, 200-bed community hospital. All cholesterol levels greater than 240 mg/dL on a multichemistry profile were evaluated regarding physician awareness. Criteria for awareness included any notation in the patient's chart indicating the physician's recognition of the abnormal cholesterol level or therapeutic intervention (dietary or pharmacologic). During March 1986, an awareness level of 20% was found. A similar review in March 1988 revealed no change despite a redefinition of the normal laboratory range of serum cholesterol from 133 to 298 mg/dL to 130 to 240 mg/dL. On April 12, 1988, a 1-hour lecture sponsored by the Physician Cholesterol Education Program was presented at a hospital general staff meeting. Physician cholesterol awareness rose to 51.6% for the remainder of April through May 1988, and was 48.3% at 6-month post-CME follow-up. Chart reviews showed no heightened physician awareness related to the patient's age, sex, or diseases secondarily associated with increased cholesterol; however, increased physician awareness was associated with the primary diagnosis of atherosclerotic vascular disease and severity of hypercholesterolemia. Physician awareness of an elevated serum cholesterol level was poor during two retrospective prevalence surveys but improved considerably after delivery of an educational program.
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