When it comes to medicine and treatment, most recommendations often take a look at the masses and offer suggestions. But the newest cholesterol guidelines that have been released take on a more personal approach, which may provide greater success for treatment.
The new guidelines were released by the American Heart Association (AHA) and focus on more personalized risk assessment, LDL target levels, and new drug approaches for those at highest risk for heart disease.
The new guidelines also focus on the value of using coronary artery calcium scores for individual patients along with expanding the age range for treatment.
President of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Michael Valentine, explained, “High cholesterol treatment is not one size fits all, and this guideline strongly establishes the importance of personalized care. Over the past five years, we’ve learned even more about new treatment options and which patients may benefit from them. By providing a treatment roadmap for clinicians, we are giving them the tools to help their patients understand and manage their risk and live longer, healthier lives.”
The previous guidelines were largely criticized because they used a risk calculator that left out crucial information such as family history, and also overlooked patients over 75 or younger than 40. The old guidelines also didn’t focus on LDL targets, which is recommended because it gives patients attainable goals.
Having LDL levels below 100 is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. The new guidelines offer up more drug treatments for patients for which statins were unsuccessful.
Heart disease continues to be the number one killer in America, but it is often a preventable condition – cholesterol is one of those preventable factors.
President of the AHA, Dr. Ivor Benjamin, added, “Having high cholesterol at any age increases that risk significantly. That’s why it’s so important that even at a young age, people follow a heart-healthy lifestyle and understand and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.”
The new guidelines hope to bring more patients to healthier cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.