A draft statement from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force gives a B-level recommendation for the use of statins to prevent cardiovascular disease in certain patients at increased risk. In a separate draft, the task force indicated that the current evidence does not support – or oppose – lipid disorder screening in patients under age 20 years. The drafts were posted online Dec. 21.
Insufficient evidence was found to recommend statin use for primary prevention in adults older than 75 years.
“In the age range in which statins have been studied for primary prevention, universal screening for elevated lipid levels is required to make this determination. Therefore, the screening framework used in the last USPSTF recommendation statement is no longer relevant and has been replaced by a preventive medication framework,” according to the draft recommendation.
Regarding screening lipid screening in children and adolescents, two systematic reviews were commissioned, one to assess familial hypercholesterolemia and one to assess multifactoral dyslipidemia. Neither review found enough evidence to successfully ascertain the comparative benefits and harms of lipid disorder screening in children and adolescents less than 20 years old, which is a similar conclusion to the 2007 USPSTF recommendation.
“The task force recognizes the importance of cardiovascular health for young people and calls for more research on the benefits and harms of screening and treating young people for high cholesterol,” Dr. Douglas K. Owens, a member of the task force, said in a statement.
The draft recommendations are available for public comment on the USPSTF website. Comments will be accepted until Jan. 25, 2016.