New Treatment Guidelines for Dyslipidemia

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have released new guidelines for dyslipidemia treatment that will change how medications such as statins are prescribed. Previous guidelines suggested treating to achieve an LDL level of 70mg/dL. The new guidelines suggest using a statin for LDL levels > 190 mg/dL, but there are no set numerical goals. A new risk calculator examines age, blood pressure, and total cholesterol levels to determine whether a patient should receive medications. In general, the guidelines recommend treatment if the patient has a 7.5% risk of developing heart disease or stroke within 10 years. It is thought the guidelines may result in more people taking statins, but fewer using multiple agents, such as statin plus ezetimibe to achieve an LDL of 70 mg/dL.

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