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Am J Manag Care. 2017 Jun;23(9 Suppl):S139-S148.

Epidemiology and management of hyperlipidemia.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States, and people with hyperlipidemia are at roughly twice the risk of developing CVD as compared to those with normal total cholesterol levels.1 Patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) have an even greater risk of developing CVD at an earlier age; therefore, early detection and treatment are imperative to reduce cardiovascular events and premature death. Statins are the mainstay treatment for hyperlipidemia; however, the limitations of statins include treatment resistance, intolerance due to adverse events, and a lack of adherence which contribute to poor outcomes. As such, many patients require adjunct therapies to properly control hyperlipidemia including niacin, bile acid sequestrants, fibric acids, and ezetimibe. FH can be even more challenging to treat, often requiring the use of lomitapide, mipomersen, proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol apheresis, in addition to high dose conjunction with statins or other agents.2 The approach to determining the appropriate treatment options has also undergone important changes. Guidelines for the management of patients with hyperlipidemia vary in their recommendations, with the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association recommending that treatment decisions be based on the intensity of response associated with various statins, while multiple other guidelines (eg, National Lipid Association (NLA) and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American College of Endocrinology) still support attaining prespecified lipid values to reduce cardiovascular risk.3-5 This article will review the epidemiology of hyperlipidemia and FH, risk factors associated with the development of disease, as well as the efficacy and safety of statins and adjunct treatment options.

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