New Cholesterol Treatment Recommendations

This week the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association released ” target=”_blank”>spreadsheet that calculates this risk is available and requires you to know your most recent cholesterol panel and blood pressure.

This last criterion will likely apply to many men in their 50s and women in their 60s, vastly expanding the number of people taking statins.

The new recommendations also state that non-statin cholesterol-lowering medications like ” target=”_blank”>Zetia should not be routinely used since the evidence that they prevent strokes and heart attacks is scant or nonexistent.

The new recommendations have generated some criticism. Some experts claim that they are too complex. Others bemoan the number of people that will now be offered statins. I think the recommendations are actually simpler than what we were doing before. I’m sure we’ll all need some time to get used to them and understand the fine points. My impression is that patients will be able to apply these recommendations much more easily and see for themselves how they compare to the various treatment groups.

As to the criticism that statin use will dramatically increase, if this leads to marked declines in the numbers of strokes and heart attacks then this is not a criticism of the new guidelines but a major improvement over the prior recommendations.

Learn more:

” target=”_blank”>Shift In Cholesterol Advice Could Double Statin Use (NPR Shots)
” target=”_blank”>Panel Unveils Shake-up in Strategy to Cut Heart Risk (Wall Street Journal)
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ACC/AHA Prevention Guideline
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