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Curr Cardiol Rep. 2012 Dec;14(6):692-700. doi: 10.1007/s11886-012-0305-7.

Treatment targets in the management of dyslipidemias: which targets in whom?

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  • 1Center for Human Nutrition, Dallas, TX 75390-9052, USA.


The public health approach to prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) continues to hold great potential for prevention. This approach includes diets low in saturated fats and cholesterol, maintaining desirable body weight, regular physical activity, and absence of cigarette smoking. But drug therapy is becoming more widely used. Statins have been available for treatment of elevated serum cholesterol for a quarter of a century. They have proven efficacious for reducing risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). They carry little toxicity, and now that some derivatives are generic, they are inexpensive. Statins have become standard of care for patients with established ASCVD. To achieve further reduction in ASCVD events through cholesterol lowering will require new combinations with older agents and development of new drugs. The future of secondary prevention lies in testing of old and new "add-on" agents. Indications for statin use in primary prevention is less clear-cut. But clinical-trial experience with statins point to enormous potential for reducing ASCVD in the population. At the same time, there are dangers of overuse and turning society into a "drug culture". To abandon the benefits of healthy lifestyles for excessive drug intervention would be unfortunate.

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