The just released report by a joint task force from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.  Click here to read the report

The key recommendation is that it is no longer necessary to aim for specific levels of cholesterol in patients on statins. This represents a major course correction in the statin saga and will probably reduce the sales of extra cholesterol lowering drugs that were often prescribed over and above a statin, for patients who did not achieve the mandated levels.

Also new guidelines are provides (along with a new risk calculator). These are aimed at simplifying the decision process that is required to assess which patients need statin treatment.

In future, patients will be simply required to take the suggested statin dose.  This is a good move because it no longer mandates a comfortable number for physicians to aim for. They are rather focussed on the best therapy for the patient’s condition.

In addition a new class of patient are included in the pool of candidates for statin treatment. For the first time stroke patients are included, potentially widening the pool of potential statin customers.  (In the US this pool is already 25% of all people over the age of forty!)

From a diet perspective the same old drum beats on, with a recommendation for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, legumes, fish, poultry, and nuts. With reduced sweets, high sugar drinks and red meats. Saturated fats remain a demon that the Lifestyle Management Guidelines suggest is kept at 5 to 6% of daily intake!

The report states that a number of diet and physical activity interventions were not included in the report due to time constraints. Also included were diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.