The 2018 Guidelines on the Management of Blood Cholesterol

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How the medical community treats patients with high cholesterol changed dramatically in November 2013 when a new set of Guidelines for recommending cholesterol-lowering drugs was published. The newly published 2018 Guidelines both affirms that approach and adds several more specific recommendations.

A little history: the standard of care for those with high cholesterol before the 2013 Guidelines was for doctors to prescribe a statin—a prescription drug like Lipitor—to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol to a target figure. But the 2013 Guidelines abandoned that ‘treat-to-target’ approach. Instead, the new Guidelines recommended doctors take a more holistic approach based on assessing a patient’s overall 10-year heart disease risk.