Jerome D. Cohen. Rationale for Aggressive Lipid Lowering in High-Risk Patients. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2011;111(4_suppl_3):eS7–eS12. doi: .
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According to current guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III), the target low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level for patients with established coronary heart disease (CHD) or CHD risk equivalents is less than 100 mg/dL, with an optional target of less than 70 mg/dL. More recent data suggest, however, that the physiologically normal level of LDL-C and the level at which atherogenesis is initiated is much lower. Overall, the data convincingly demonstrate that LDL-C lowering is associated with a significant reduction in CHD events, regardless of preexisting CHD. The NCEP ATP III treatment guidelines, published in 2002 and updated in 2004, do not reflect more recent findings on intensive lipid-lowering therapy, which are likely be addressed in the NCEP ATP IV guidelines, scheduled to be released in 2011. Drug options for LDL-C lowering include statins (the drug of choice), bile acid sequestrants, nicotinic acid, fibrates, and selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors.
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