Cardiology

Is reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol all that matters?


Current international guidance recommends reducing an individual’s cardiovascular risk by aggressively lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). A central tenet of the latest European Society of Cardiology guidance on the management of dyslipidaemias is the lowering of the targets for LDL-C in high risk (<1.8 mmol/L), very-high risk (<1.4 mmol/L) and individuals who experience recurrent cardiovascular events (<1.0 mmol/L).1 There are an increasing number of tools that can be deployed to achieve these goals including specific lifestyle interventions, the initiation of high-intensity statins, and adjuvant therapy with ezetimibe or a proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor. In this regard, as previously highlighted in Heart, there is considerable scope for improvement as more than half of patients in the UK do not attain an optimal therapeutic reduction in LDL-C.2 What remains unclear with respect to cardiovascular risk modification is whether aggressive reduction of LDL-C is the only target that matters?



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