n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Prevalence of dyslipidaemia in statin-treated patients in South Africa : results of the DYSlipidaemia International Study (DYSIS)

Volume 24, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality worldwide and increased levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) are an important modifiable risk factor. Statins lower LDL-C levels and have been shown to reduce CVD risk. Despite the widespread availability of statins, many patients do not reach the lipid targets recommended by guidelines. We evaluated lipid goal attainment in statin-treated patients in South Africa and analysed variables contributing to poor goal attainment as part of the DYSlipidaemia International Study (DYSIS).

This cross-sectional, observational study enrolled 1 029 consecutive South African patients consulting office-based physicians. Patients were at least 45 years old, had to be treated with a stable dose of statins for at least three months and had been fasting for 12 hours. We evaluated lipid goal attainment and examined variables associated with residual dyslipidaemia [abnormal levels of LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and/or triglycerides (TG)].
We found that 50.3% of the patients overall did not achieve target LDL-C levels and 73.5% of patients were at very high cardiovascular risk. In addition, 33.7% had low levels of HDL-C, while 45.3% had elevated TG levels despite statin therapy. Asian and mixed-ancestry patients but not black (vs Caucasian ethnicity), as well as obese individuals in South Africa were more likely to still have dyslipidaemia involving all three lipid fractions.
We observed that many patients in South Africa experienced persistent dyslipidaemia despite statin treatment, supporting the concept that there is a need for more intensive statin therapy or the development of novel treatment strategies. Measures aimed at combating obesity and other lifestyle-related risk factors are also vital for effectively controlling dyslipidaemia and reducing the burden of CVD.

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