Cholesterol management has evolved to become increasingly complex and individualized. Newer guidelines from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) detail risk assessment, novel non-statin treatment options, concerns centered on patient subgroups, and the value of therapy.
Treatment plans are now highly personalized, and experts recommend shared decision-making to fulfill patient needs. When discussing cholesterol management with patients, 4 tenets to keep in mind include the following:
- stress the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle spanning the patient’s life;
- discuss the 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease per the Pooled Cohort Equations, as well as mitigating risk factors;
- explain that although statins are the foundation of treatment, add-on options are available for patients on maximally tolerated statins who need to further lower their LDL-C levels;
- address special treatment algorithms in at-risk patient subgroups.
What has worked for you when advising patients on lipid-lowering therapy? What role does shared decision-making play when caring for your patients with hyperlipidemia?