The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) are ushering in a new era with the 2017 clinical practice guidelines for dyslipidemia management and atherosclerosis prevention. The guidelines, which have just been released online, include a new cardiovascular risk category.1 The guidelines also address a broader range of disease stages and call for more intense treatment and more aggressive intervention.
The executive summary contains 87 evidence-based recommendations that allow for nuance-based clinical decision-making. The clinical practice guidelines are intended to be a practical tool for endocrinologists to employ as a means of reducing the risks and consequences of dyslipidemia.
The new guidelines call for treating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in specific patient groups to lower goals than previously recommended. They also support the use of coronary artery calcium scores and inflammatory markers to help clinicians better stratify risk. Another notable feature is that the guidelines call for special consideration when it comes to patients with diabetes or familial hypercholesterolemia, women, and pediatric patients with dyslipidemia.
Extreme Risk Category
The Medical Guidelines for Clinical Practice for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dyslipidemia and Prevention of Atherosclerosis were published by AACE in 2012. The 2017 update introduces a cardiovascular disease (CVD) “Extreme Risk” category. The Extreme Risk category includes patients who have progressive CVD, such as patients with unstable angina who have achieved a lowered LDL-C level and patients who have established CVD accompanied by diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease (stages 3 or 4), or familial hypercholesterolemia.
The Extreme Risk category also includes men aged 55 years and younger and women aged 65 years and younger who have a history of premature CVD.
“The Extreme Risk category with an LDL-C goal of <55…