Five years after convening the expert panel, the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults was released. The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association issued the guideline on the basis of a systematic review of cholesterol treatment trials performed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This report critically appraises the guideline and provides our view of what was done well and what could be done better. In particular, we propose that the guideline succeeds in prioritizing statin therapy, expanding the focus to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (including stroke), and emphasizing absolute cardiovascular risk to determine eligibility for statin therapy. We contend that the guideline could be enhanced by refining the use of lipid goals rather than removing them, enhancing guidance on evaluation of cholesterol, and broadening the concept of age underpinning risk-based decision making to include vascular and physiological age. We further suggest that the next guideline panel could comprehensively review current best evidence, build on existing guidelines, and cultivate broader national and international consensus. Overall, we aim to continue discussions about the important contributions and shortfalls of the guideline and create momentum for effective implementation and timely updates.
- cardiovascular disease
- coronary heart disease
- myocardial infarction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine