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Postgrad Med. 1991 Jan;89(1):81-2, 87-90, 93-6.

Treating serum lipid abnormalities in high-priority patients.

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Department of Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033.


Normalization of serum lipid levels should be initiated as soon as possible in patients with myocardial, cerebrovascular, or peripheral vascular disease. Clinical trials indicate that coronary artery disease and overall mortality rates can be reduced and atherosclerosis stabilized or reversed by lipid-lowering therapy. Treatment should lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels to 130 mg/dL or less and total triglyceride levels to 150 mg/dL or less and increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels to at least 52 mg/dL in men and 66 mg/dL in women. Nonlipid coronary risk factors should be eliminated when possible. Lipid-lowering therapy may consist of dietary modification and drug treatment with colestipol hydrochloride (Colestid), cholestyramine (Cholybar, Questran), lovastatin (Mevacor), gemfibrozil (Lopid), and nicotinic acid (Nicolar).

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