High levels of confusion for cholesterol awareness campaigns

David R Sullivan
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02402.x
Published online: 2 March 2009

To the Editor: The author of “High levels of confusion for cholesterol awareness campaigns”1 identifies my comment as the source of her perplexity. My remark, which Hall quotes in relation to the “Test the Nation” campaign, was actually given in response to a question about the Pfizer-sponsored “National Cholesterol Awareness Campaign”, which ran simultaneously. It seemed too inconsequential to request correction of the relevant newspaper article,2 because public health guidelines differ in regard to the target population for lipid testing. My comment reflected conservative Australian guidelines.3 It is well known that other sources recommend more widespread testing of adults.4 Hall’s confusion was a rhetorical device to justify her discussion of “condition branding” and to “explore the motivations” of the campaigns.

  • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW.

Competing interests:

I have participated in advisory boards and postgraduate education presentations on behalf of AstraZeneca, Merck Sharp and Dohme/Schering-Plough, Pfizer, and Solvay Australia.

  • 1. Hall DV. High levels of confusion for cholesterol awareness campaigns. Med J Aust 2008; 189: 326-328. <eMJA full text> <MJA full text>
  • 2. Cresswell A. 10pc less cholesterol “will save 3000 lives”. The Australian 2008; 13 Mar.,25197,2 3366060-23289,00.html (accessed Dec 2008).
  • 3. Tonkin A, Barter P, Best J, et al; National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Position statement on lipid management — 2005. Heart Lung Circ 2005; 14: 275-291.
  • 4. Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults. Executive summary of the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). JAMA 2001; 285: 2486-2497.
  • 5. Kahn R, Robertson RM, Smith R, Eddy D. The impact of prevention on reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease. Circulation 2008; 118: 576-585.
  • 6. Pearson TA. The epidemiologic basis for population-wide cholesterol reduction in the primary prevention of coronary artery disease. Am J Cardiol 2004; 94: 4F-8F.
  • 7. Chen L, Rogers SL, Colagiuri S, et al; National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance. How do the Australian guidelines for lipid-lowering drugs perform in practice? Cardiovascular disease risk in the AusDiab Study, 1999–2000. Med J Aust 2008; 189: 319-322. <eMJA full text> <MJA full text>


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