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Last Updated: 4/29/2014  

Screening for Dyslipidemia

  • Recognize that dyslipidemia is a major risk factor for atherosclerotic disease, CVD, cardiovascular death, and all-cause mortality.

  • Screen all men aged 35 years and older and women aged 45 years and older for dyslipidemia.

  • Screen younger persons (aged over 2 years) who are at high risk for premature CVD due to familial hypercholesterolemia, family history (onset of clinical CVD before age 55 years in a parent or grandparent), or multiple risk factors, including obesity.

  • Recognize that the combination of serum total and HDL cholesterol, which can be incorporated into the Framingham risk equations, and triglycerides predict risk for CVD as well as any other single or combined measure of lipid status.

  • Recognize that measurement of LDL cholesterol may require a fasting sample and may be useful when making treatment decisions.

  • Treat dyslipidemia in patients at increased risk for CVD events with statin drugs, which have the greatest proven efficacy in reducing CVD events.

  • Treat patients with the greatest risk for CVD events more aggressively because these patients stand to gain the most benefit.

  • Recognize that treatment of dyslipidemia in patients at low short-term risk for CVD events in order to prevent events in the distant future is controversial.

  • Repeat lipid screening every 5 years or when the patient's risk-factor profile or clinical status has changed.

DOI: 10.7326/s367
The information included herein should never be used as a substitute for clinical judgment and does not represent an official position of ACP.
Author(s) and Disclosures:
Michael Pignone, MD, MPH received honorarium from Pfizer, received grants from Pfizer. Nora Porter, MD, MPH, FACP, FAAP has no financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, biomedical device manufacturers, or health-care related organizations.

One or more of the present or past ACP Smart Medicine physician editors worked on this module and had nothing to disclose: Davoren Chick, MD, FACP; Deborah Korenstein, MD, FACP; Marjorie Lazoff, MD, FACP; Richard Lynn, MD, FACP.

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