Hyperlipidemia in Adults - A National Survey of Family Physicians’ Assessment and Treatment

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Study Description and Methods

Through a survey of AAFP family physicians, we aimed at understanding family physicians’ management of patients at risk for coronary heart disease, focusing on coronary risk assessment and treatment of hyperlipidemia. The objective of this project is to test a quality improvement initiative to narrow the translational gap in treatment of hyperlipidemia.

Specific Aims and Objectives

Our specific aims are:

  1. To obtain baseline data on family physicians current practices regarding coronary risk assessment and treatment.
  2. To collect information that will inform the development of targeted educational and quality improvement initiatives for treatment of hyperlipidemia.


This study was conducted from March 1, 2004, through March 31, 2005.


This project has been completed. See below for Key Findings and Publications.


Poster Presentation, AAFP Scientific Assembly & Scientific Exhibit, Orlando, FL , October 14-16, 2004. Eaton CB, Galliher JM, Hickner JM, et al. “Knowledge, Beliefs & Practice Patterns regarding Hyperlipidemia: AAFP National Survey”.

Key Findings and Publications

We found a large variability in knowledge, beliefs, and practice patterns among practicing family physicians. We found general agreement on universal screening of adults for hyperlipidemia as part of cardiovascular disease prevention strategy and use of LDL cholesterol as a treatment goal. Many other aspects of the NCEP ATP III guidelines, such as use of a systematic, multidisciplinary approach, using non-HDL cholesterol as a secondary goal, and routinely using a CHD risk calculator for risk assessment to guide cholesterol management have not yet penetrated into self-reported clinical practice.

Access the complete manuscript:

Family Physician’s Knowledge, Beliefs and Self-Reported Practice Patterns egarding Hyperlipidemia: A National Research Network (NRN) Survey.(8 page PDF) Eaton CB, Galliher JM, McBride PE, et al. J Am Board Fam Med. Jan-Feb2006;19:46-53.

Contact Information

For additional information about this study, please contact:

AAFP National Research Network
1-800-274-2237 x3180

This project was funded by a grant from Merck/Shering-Plough Joint Venture.