Coronary artery disease continues to be the leading cause of death in developed countries, accounting for 30% of the world's total deaths, and rates are rapidly rising in the developing world. With the current obesity epidemic and the growth of metabolic syndrome, its prevalence is likely to climb. Along with hypertension, diabetes, and smoking, hyperlipidemia has consistently been shown to be one of the most significant and modifiable risk factors for coronary artery disease development and progression.
Lipid-lowering therapy is important for secondary prevention for patients with known cardiovascular disease, as well as for primary prevention for those at increased risk. Although guidelines have historically focused on achieving specific levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), there is increasing recognition that in many cases lower levels are progressively beneficial. For that reason, the most recent European Society of Cardiology and European Atherosclerosis Society guidelines no longer recommend specific cutoff points for LDL-C.
With a proven track record in reducing morbidity and mortality related to coronary artery disease, beta-hydroxy beta-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) are first-line cholesterol-lowering medications. However, many patients experience musculoskeletal side effects that either prevent them from using statins at all or limit their ability to tolerate a dosage necessary to achieve their cholesterol targets. As suboptimal control keeps them at continued cardiovascular risk, such patients should be thoroughly evaluated for true statin intolerance, and adjunctive or alternative therapies should be considered.
What do you know about the safety and tolerability of lipid-lowering therapies? Test your knowledge with this quick quiz.
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Cite this: Romesh Khardori. Fast Five Quiz: Lipids Management - Medscape - Jun 12, 2023.