Applied Evidence

Translating AHA/ACC cholesterol guidelines into meaningful risk reduction

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References

In patients 30 to 75 years of age who have a diagnosis of HeFH and an LDL-C level ≥ 100 mg/dL while taking maximally tolerated statin and ezetimibe therapy, the addition of a PCSK9 inhibitor can be considered. Regardless of whether there is a diagnosis of HeFH, addition of a PCSK9 inhibitor can be considered in patients 40 to 75 years of age who have a baseline LDL-C level ≥ 220 mg/dL and who achieve an on-treatment LDL-C level ≥ 130 mg/dL while receiving maximally tolerated statin therapy and ezetimibe.1

Diabetes mellitus

In patients with DM who are 40 to 75 years of age, moderate-intensity statin therapy is recommended without calculating the 10-year ASCVD risk. When the LDL-C level is 70 to 189 mg/dL, however, it is reasonable to use the PCE to assess 10-year ASCVD risk to facilitate risk stratification.

In patients 20 to 75 years of age who have a primary elevation of LDL-C level ≥ 190 mg/dL, the guideline recommends initiation of high-intensity statin therapy without calculating ASCVD risk.

In patients with DM who are at higher risk, especially those who have multiple risk factors or are 50 to 75 years of age, it is reasonable to use a high-intensity statin to reduce the LDL-C level by ≥ 50 %. In adults > 75 years of age with DM who are already on statin therapy, it is reasonable to continue statin therapy; for those that age who are not on statin therapy, it might be reasonable to initiate statin therapy after a physician–patient discussion of potential benefits and risks.

In adults with DM and PCE-calculated risk ≥ 20%, it might be reasonable to add ezetimibe to maximally tolerated statin therapy to reduce the LDL-C level by ≥ 50%. In adults 20 to 39 years of age with DM of long duration (≥ 10 years of type 2 DM, ≥ 20 years of type 1 DM), albuminuria (≥ 30 μg of albumin/mg creatinine), estimated glomerular filtration rate < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, retinopathy, neuropathy, or ankle-brachial index < 0.9, it might be reasonable to initiate statin therapy.1

Secondary prevention

Presence of clinical ASCVD. In patients with clinical ASCVD who are ≤ 75 years of age, high-intensity statin therapy should be initiated or continued, with the aim of achieving ≥ 50% reduction in the LDL-C level. When high-intensity statin therapy is contraindicated or if a patient experiences statin-associated adverse effects, moderate-intensity statin therapy should be initiated or continued with the aim of achieving a 30% to 49% reduction in the LDL-C level.

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