Background: Effective treatment is available for patients with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). Nevertheless the treatment goal seems hard to reach in all patients. We investigated to what extent recommended international treatment goals were achieved for total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, adherence to drug treatment and if achievement of treatment goals was influenced by knowledge.
Design: Cross-sectional design.
Methods: Patients with FH, above 18 years of age, n=74, were asked to participate. Drug treatment, laboratory results, blood pressure and smoking were documented, a questionnaire on adherence and knowledge about FH was sent to the patients. Response rate for the questionnaire was 92 % (n=68).
Results: The treatment goals for LDL cholesterol (< 3.0 mmol/L) and total cholesterol (<5.0 mmol/L) were reached in 23% and 22% of the patients, respectively. Patients with LDL cholesterol < 3.0 mmol/L who were on treatment followed the prescription to a significantly higher degree than patients with LDL cholesterol ≥ 3.0 mmol/L, (p=0.001). For patient knowledge, the mean was 6.8±2.2 out of 11 possible. The patients had knowledge about cholesterol, self-care prevention and the reason for drug treatment. Patients were less informed about the chance of getting FH and family history.
Conclusion: Intensified drug treatment is motivated since 23 % of the patients with FH reached treatment goals. In spite of the absence of relation between LDL cholesterol level and knowledge in the present study, we believe that increased disease lmowledge would facilitate for patients to face the difficulties of the condition.