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S Afr Med J. 2000 Feb;90(2 Pt 2):164-74, 176-8.

Diagnosis, management and prevention of the common dyslipidaemias in South Africa--clinical guideline, 2000. South African Medical Association and Lipid and Atherosclerosis Society of Southern Africa Working Group.

[No authors listed]


The optimum management of dyslipidaemia requires a comprehensive, diagnostic work-up. This, minimally, includes: Characterisation of any hyperlipidaemic disorder present. Identification of additional risk factors so as to assess overall (global) risk of future coronary heart disease (CHD). The global risk is best assessed by a calculation combining the risk factors in the individual. In severe monogenic dyslipidaemias and in patients with confirmed pre-existing CHD the risk is usually high; in most such cases the use of lipid-modifying drugs (LMDs) is indicated. Assessment of psychosocial, economic and educational factors relevant to management. Prevention and cost-effective management of even moderately dyslipidaemic patients require appropriate modification of lifestyle: avoidance of tobacco smoking, participation in regular exercise, and a health-promoting diet. Depending on individual circumstance, vigorous, personalised intervention and expert assistance from dieticians, biokineticists and other health care personnel may determine success. The correct choice of patient for drug treatment is a key therapeutic decision and is best done after full lifestyle modification. Recent evidence confirms that appropriately prescribed LMD therapy can lower morbidity and mortality from CHD as well as all-cause mortality. Patients with the following features are candidates for LMD therapy: have clinical CHD and a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC) level > 3.0 mmol/l despite optimum non-pharmacological intervention, or suffer from familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) or equivalent severe, monogenic disorder, or have a 10-year risk of an acute clinical coronary event of > 20% (or > 30% risk if extrapolated to the age of 60 years) owing to the presence of the hyperlipidaemia alone or in combination with contributory risk factors. The ideal target LDLC concentration is < or = 3 mmol/l, but a reduction of at least 45% should be regarded as a minimum target in severe cases who do not reach this goal. Successful therapy requires on-going attention to compliance, therapeutic response and side-effects, and may necessitate adjustment or reinforcement. Concurrent or contributory conditions, such as smoking, hypertension and diabetes mellitus, must also be treated along with the clinically manifest CHD. Severely hyperlipidaemic, complicated or unresponsive high-risk cases should be referred to an appropriate specialist or lipid clinic. Prevention of CHD in the community should be encouraged through public and professional education, the provision of community facilities for exercise and recreation, and legislation directed at reducing the use of tobacco products and ensuring the appropriate labelling of food products.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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