Effectiveness of Blood Lipid Management in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease

Connie N. Hess, Christopher P. Cannon, Joshua A. Beckman, Philip P. Goodney, Manesh R. Patel, William R. Hiatt, Katherine E. Mues, Kate K. Orroth, Erin Shannon, Marc P. Bonaca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: 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. Objectives: The authors examined LLT use and actual achieved LDL-C in PAD. Methods: PAD patients in MarketScan from 2014 to 2018 were identified. Outcomes included LLT use, defined as high-intensity (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 <70 mg/dl were identified with multivariable logistic regression. Results: 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 <70 mg/dl. Within the HI LLT subgroup, median LDL-C was 81 mg/dl, and 64% had LDL-C ≥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 <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 <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 <70 mg/dl included smoking, hypertension, diabetes, prior lower extremity revascularization, and prior myocardial infarction but not prior acute or critical limb ischemia. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3016-3027
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 22 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • lipid management
  • outcomes
  • peripheral artery disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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