Background: Proper management of dyslipidaemia in patients may reduce morbidity and mortality related to coronary heart disease.
Objective: To determine physician perceptions of the management of dyslipidaemia in Jamaica and Trinidad.
Methods: Personal interviews were conducted from March to May, 2005, by an independent research firm using a structured questionnaire.
Results: A total of 111 interviews were conducted, 61 in Jamaica and 50 in Trinidad. Respondents were mostly primary care physicians (PCP) or internal medicine physicians (76.5%) and 58% were in private practice. The most important factors for prescribing a drug for dyslipidaemia were related to efficacy (76%), safety (59%) and price (36%). The majority (92%) reported using treatment guidelines. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines were the most widely mentioned by physicians but there were reports of using guidelines from other organizations and physician groups. Nearly a third of all physicians, most of whom were PCPs, had not heard of the NCEP. The LDL-C level at which drug therapy should be started and the LDL-C treatment goals were higher among Jamaican physicians.
Conclusions: Physicians are aware of the existence of treatment guidelines for dyslipidaemia. However, the source and adherence to the guidelines varies according to country and specialty. Information about the proper management of dyslipidaemia must be reinforced by professional societies and government agencies.