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Low-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Lowering in the Prevention of CHD: How Low Should We Go?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17038269     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
The past 12 years have seen the publication of numerous randomized placebo-controlled studies using statins to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC) to assess the efficacy of cholesterol lowering on cardiovascular events. Initial studies predominantly evaluated mortality or nonfatal myocardial infarctions and coronary heart disease (CHD) death in patients with known or presumed established coronary disease and moderately elevated to very elevated serum cholesterol concentrations. Subsequent investigations studied a broader spectrum of cardiovascular events as a composite primary end point in both primary and secondary prevention strategies in subjects with lower mean entry serum LDLC concentrations. These studies have generally shown a reduction in a composite end point of cardiovascular events, although not necessarily the more restricted end points used in previous studies. Although the LDLC mantra "lower is better" has been popularized in advertising and continuing medical education and suggested as an option in "very high risk" patients by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel, the precise target level for LDLC for optimal treatment has not been rigorously defined. Serum LDLC less than 100 mg/dL seems reasonable for patients with known atherosclerosis or at high risk for atherosclerosis (diabetes or presence of multiple risk factors). Serum LDLC less than 70 mg/dL may be a reasonable goal in the setting of acute coronary syndromes, but there are many problems with the data on which this recommendation is made. Furthermore, many advocates of "lower is better" seem oblivious to the potential downsides of more aggressive lipid-lowering therapy. The LDLC target in lower risk primary prevention is less clear. What is obvious is that moderate-dose statin therapy can lower CHD risk in primary prevention and secondary prevention with minimal side effects, and with the imminent availability of several generic statins, with great cost-effectiveness.
William L Isley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current treatment options in cardiovascular medicine     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1092-8464     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med     Publication Date:  2006 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-10-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9815942     Medline TA:  Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  289-97     Citation Subset:  -    
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street, SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
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