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Experts say cholesterol treatment guidelines need update

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Just because a person receives unhealthy cholesterol test results does not mean they necessarily require cholesterol treatments, according to a new report published in the journal Circulation, Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

A pair of researchers wrote an open letter to the agency responsible for one of the most influential clinical practice guidelines suggesting that the treatment recommendations be updated to reflect the growing knowledge that high cholesterol does not always require treatment.

Drs. Rodney Hayward and Harlan Krumholz wrote to the National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel that doctors should look at a patient's entire set of heart health risk factors before deciding to treat anything. High cholesterol may represent a threat, but in and of itself may not necessarily increase a person's chances of suffering a heart attack.

The pair said that evidence from clinical trials does not support the exclusive focus on treating cholesterol, and this approach actual be harmful, as it exposes patients to drug risk factors. Some of these patients may have little to gain from taking medications.

In the end, the group said that cholesterol testing and treatment guidelines should be updated to reflect the clinical evidence.ADNFCR-2248-ID-800688432-ADNFCR

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