ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Primary and secondary prevention trials have shown that use of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (also known as statins) to lower an elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level can substantially reduce coronary events and death from coronary heart disease. In 1987 and 1993, the National Cholesterol Education Program promulgated guidelines for cholesterol screening and treatment. Thus far, however, primary care physicians have inadequately adopted these guidelines in clinical practice. A 1991 study found that cholesterol screening was performed in only 23 percent of patients. Consequently, many patients with elevated low-density lipoprotein levels and a high risk of primary or recurrent ischemic events remain unidentified and untreated. A study published in 1998 found that fewer than 15 percent of patients with known coronary heart disease have low-density lipoprotein levels at the recommended level of below 100 mg per dL (2.60 mmol per L). By identifying patients with elevated low-density lipoprotein levels and instituting appropriate lipid-lowering therapy, family physicians could help prevent cardiovascular events and death in many of their patients.