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Lipid Monitoring After Initiation of Lipid-Lowering Therapies: Return of Performance Measures?

Deshotels MR, Virani SS, Ballantyne CM. Lipid Monitoring After Initiation of Lipid-Lowering Therapies: Return of Performance Measures? Current Cardiology Reports. 2021 Jul 16; 23(9):116.

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The 2015 American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) Focused Update of Secondary Prevention Lipid Performance Measures removed low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) assessment as a performance measure. This review discusses the evidence supporting the importance of lipid monitoring in the secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). RECENT FINDINGS: The 2018 AHA/ACC Multisociety cholesterol guideline (as did the 2013 guideline) recommends a lipid panel after initiating lipid-lowering therapy to monitor adherence and medication efficacy. The 2018 guideline also recommends adding nonstatin therapy in very-high-risk ASCVD patients with LDL-C = 70 mg/dL despite maximally tolerated statin therapy. The removal of LDL-C monitoring as a performance measure is not consistent with the 2018 cholesterol guidelines. Given the importance of monitoring lipid-lowering medication efficacy and adherence and optimally reducing LDL-C in very-high-risk patients with additional evidence-based nonstatin therapy, LDL-C assessment after initiating lipid-lowering therapy should be reinstated as a performance measure for patients with ASCVD.

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