Quality of Care
Cardiovascular Care – Measuring Cholesterol Levels
*Note: 2014 non-VA average or VA average not available as of February 1st 2016 for this measure.
The graph above shows VA medical center scores compared with non-VA hospital scores for measuring cholesterol in patients with cardiovascular diseases. The percentages represent the number of patients with cardiovascular conditions who received the recommended tests for measuring cholesterol. For this measure, a higher percentage indicates a higher quality of care, with 100 percent being the target.
What is this measure?
Cardiovascular conditions are those that affect the heart and blood vessels like heart disease and arterial disease. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is a form of cholesterol normally found in the blood. When this amount of LDL-C in the blood is too high, it can negatively impact the cardiovascular health of an individual, especially an individual already diagnosed with cardiovascular problems.
What are we measuring?
It is recommended that individuals between 18 and 75 years old who have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition receive an LDL-C screening and an LDL level test each year. The graph above shows the percentage of individuals with cardiovascular conditions in this age range who met the criteria for and received the recommended tests during the year.
Why is this important?
LDL-C levels are especially important for people with coronary heart disease. LDL-C is often called the "bad" cholesterol because high levels can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke. It is important to regularly test for high levels of LDL-C so that steps can be taken to lower a patient’s LDL-C number and prevent further cardiovascular damage.