Lipid-lowering therapy use low, LDL elevated in patients wit
Among patients with peripheral artery disease, use of lipid-lowering therapies was low and LDL remained elevated, according to findings published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is associated with heightened risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and major adverse limb events (MALE) in peripheral artery disease (PAD). Lipid-lowering therapies (LLT) that reduce LDL-C decrease this risk.

The authors examined LLT use and actual achieved LDL-C in PAD. PAD patients in MarketScan from 2014 to 2018 were identified. Outcomes included LLT use, defined as highintensity (HI) (high-intensity statin, statin plus ezetimibe, or PCSK9 inhibitor), low-intensity (any other lipid regimen), or no therapy, and follow-up LDL-C. Factors associated with LDL-C less than 70 mg/dl were identified with multivariable logistic regression.

Among 250,103 PAD patients, 20.5% and 39.5% were treated at baseline with HI and low-intensity LLT, respectively; 40.0% were on no LLT. Over a 15-month median follow-up period, HI LLT use increased by 1.5%. Among 18,747 patients with LDL-C data, at baseline, 25.1% were on HI LLT, median LDL-C was 91 mg/dl, and 24.5% had LDL-C less than 70 mg/dl. Within the HI LLT subgroup, median LDL-C was 81 mg/dl, and 64% had LDL-C more than 70 mg/dl.

At follow-up, HI LLT use increased by 3.7%, median LDL-C decreased by 4.0 mg/dl, and an additional 4.1% of patients had LDL-C less than 70 mg/dl. HI LLT use was greater after follow-up MACE (55.0%) or MALE (41.0%) versus no ischemic event (26.1%). After MACE or MALE, LDL-C was less than 70 mg/dl in 41.5% and 36.1% of patients, respectively, versus 27.1% in those without an event. Factors associated with follow-up LDL-C less than 70 mg/dl included smoking, hypertension, diabetes, prior lower extremity revascularization, and prior myocardial infarction but not prior acute or critical limb ischemia.

Conclusively, In PAD, LLT use is suboptimal, LDL-C remains elevated, and LLT intensity is a poor surrogate for
achieved LDL-C. Less aggressive lipid management was observed in PAD versus cardiovascular disease, highlighting missed opportunities for implementation of proven therapies in PAD.