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Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1990 Jun;19(2):311-20.

Detection and evaluation of dyslipoproteinemia.

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  • 1Molecular Disease Branch, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.


Screening for dyslipoproteinemias should be undertaken in all individuals older than 20 years of age at least once every 5 years. The initial screening, as recommended by the Adult Treatment Guidelines Panel of the National Cholesterol Education Program, is to determine the concentration of total blood cholesterol. This initial determination can be made on blood obtained in the nonfasting state. Further evaluation of the patient's lipoprotein concentrations is dependent upon the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors. in the absence of definite coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, a family history of coronary artery disease, cigarette smoking, or severe obesity, the patient with a total blood cholesterol concentration less than 200 mg/dL requires no specific instruction and should have a repeated screening performed within 5 years. Patients with blood cholesterol concentrations greater than 200 mg/dL should have their lipoprotein profiles determined if they have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or two other cardiovascular disease risk factors. The lipoprotein profile includes the determination of fasting cholesterol and triglyceride and HDL cholesterol concentrations. From these values, the LDL cholesterol concentration can be calculated. This LDL cholesterol concentration is central in selecting the appropriate therapy. HDL cholesterol concentrations may be useful in evaluating patients with ischemic heart disease. Concentrations of HDL cholesterol less than 35 mg/dL are associated with increased risk for coronary artery disease. Although there is currently no convincing evidence that support the specific treatment of depressed HDL cholesterol concentrations, therapy directed to modulating lipoprotein metabolism in patients with heart disease and low HDL concentrations may be of benefit. Patients with recurrent abdominal pain, pancreatitis, and eruptive xanthomatosis frequently have fasting hypertriglyceridemia concentrations exceeding 1000 mg/dL. These patients should be identified in order to effectively reduce their triglyceride concentrations, which can prevent these complications.

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