Background: Non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) goal attainment per Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) guidelines remains low. Objective: To understand gaps in knowledge and practices of physicians-in- training (internal medicine, family medicine, cardiology, endocrinology) towards non-HDL-C. Methods: A survey based on a conceptual model to assess the trainee's knowledge, attitudes, and practice regarding non-HDL-C was developed and administered to physicians-in-training (n = 655) at 26 training programs in the United States. Responses of those in internal medicine and family medicine (residents-in-training; n = 418) were compared with those in cardiology and endocrinology (fellows-in-training; n = 124). Results: Response rate was 83.7%. Fifty-three percent of residents and 31% of fellows-in-training had not read the ATP III guidelines (P <.001). Thirty-three percent of the residents and 35% fellows-in-training could not calculate non-HDL-C from a standard lipid panel (P =.7). Sixty-seven percent of the residents and 52% of fellows were not aware of treatment goals for non-HDL-C (P =.004 for comparison between residents and fellows). Both residents and fellows reported infrequent calculation of non-HDL-C levels in patients with elevated triglycerides (≥200 mg/dL; 32.5% vs 35.4%, respectively, P =.6). Lack of familiarity with ATP III guidelines, lack of knowledge regarding importance of non-HDL-C, lack of institutional mandate to calculate non-HDL-C, and lack of emphasis on non-HDL-C by teaching staff were reported as barriers to non-HDL-C use in routine clinical practice. Conclusions: At least one-third of physicians-in-training could not calculate non-HDL-C from a standard lipid panel, and a large number were not aware of ATP III treatment goals pertaining to non-HDL-C. This area represents one for improvement if non-HDL-C is to be retained as a treatment target in the forthcoming ATP-IV guidelines.
- Adult Treatment Panel guidelines
- Non-HDL-C calculation
- Non-HDL-C goals