Cholesterol Management – Understanding the 2018 Guideline- Pharmacist
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, and coronary heart disease, is prevalent and costly. Coronary heart disease is the most common form, accounting for 43% of all deaths attributed to CVD. The underlying pathophysiology of CVD is atherosclerosis; hence the term atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Risk factor management and treatment are essential to prevent CVD progression, cardiovascular events, and costly healthcare. It is important for both prescribers and pharmacists to educate patients about a heart healthy lifestyle and promote adherence to drug therapy to prevent disease progression and lower the costs associated with CVD. In November 2018, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) cholesterol guideline was published online. The writing committee included physicians from several specialty areas, pharmacists, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, and a layperson. In addition to the ACC/AHA, the writing committee included representatives from 10 other national organizations. The guideline provides an evidence-based and patient-centered approach to the assessment and treatment of ASCVD. The 2018 guideline builds on many of the concepts introduced in the 2013 ACC/AHA cholesterol guideline, including the emphasis on using a high or moderate-intensity statin as first-line therapy based on patient risk, the use of the 10-year ASCVD risk estimator for certain patients, measuring lipids to monitor response to therapy and adherence, and the patient-clinician discussion...