Introduction: Although statins represent the cornerstone of dyslipidemia treatment, certain statins may increase the incidence of new-onset diabetes mellitus (DM). This study was conducted to determine if online continuing medical education (CME) could improve knowledge/competence of diabetologists/endocrinologists (D/E) and primary care physicians (PCPs) in tailoring statin therapy to reduce the risk for DM.

Methods: Physicians participated in at least one of two 30-minute video-based online CME activities. The activities addressed educational themes related to effects of statins on lipid metabolism and tailoring statin therapy to reduce the risk of DM. 6 matching pre-education/post-education questions associated with these themes were analyzed by comparing participant responses from pre- to post-education using a repeated-pairs design. For all questions combined, the McNemar’s chi-square test was used to assess differences from pre- to post-assessment.

Results: Significant improvements (P < .05) were seen after education across both CME activities for D/E (N=438) and PCPs (N=1023). For all questions combined, average relative improvements in knowledge/competence were 44% for D/E and 73% for PCPs (P<.05). Pre-assessment, the average correct response rate was 43% for D/E and 48% for PCPs, while post-assessment average correct response rates were 62% and 83%, respectively. Significant improvements were observed (all P<.05): effect of statins on glucose metabolism: 49% relative improvement among D/E (43% vs. 64%) and 103% improvement among PCPs (37% vs. 75%). Tailoring statin therapy to reduce the risk of DM: 64% improvement among D/E (50% vs. 82%).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the success of online CME on improving knowledge/competence of D/E and PCPs regarding tailoring lipid-lowering strategies in high-risk patients. Properly implemented, this type of intervention can translate into improvements in guideline-based patient care and improve long-term outcomes for at-risk patients.


J. Spyropoulos: None. C.S. Healy: None.

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