Advanced Lipid Thinking Prior to Incorporating Advanced Lipid Testing.


Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill. Electronic address: [Email]


Lipid profiles help estimate patient's short- and long-term atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk over the life course and inform treatment decisions. Advanced lipid testing can provide additional information in selected patients. New 2018 cholesterol guidelines suggest which patients may benefit from additional testing. In patients ages 40-75 years, calculation of a 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk score begins the clinician-patient risk discussion. In those at intermediate risk (10-year risk 7.5%-19.9%) for future events, inclusion of enhancing factors personalizes the risk decision. The guidelines identify enhancing factors that can support initiating statin therapy. Two advanced lipid tests may be used. Apolipoprotein B levels improve risk estimations and identify genetic disorders in hypertriglyceridemic patients. In patients with a family history of premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, significantly elevated lipoprotein (a) levels may reclassify risk. The decision-making cascade of estimating 10-year risk, personalizing risk status with risk-enhancing factors, and, if appropriate, reclassifying risk with a coronary artery calcium score is advanced lipid thinking that can utilize advanced lipid testing to optimize atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease prevention.


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