Risk determination of dyslipidemia in populations characterized by low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol

Thomas P Bersot, Guy M Pépin, Robert W Mahley
American Heart Journal 2003, 146 (6): 1052-9

BACKGROUND: Current guidelines for managing dyslipidemia qualify patients for treatment based on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and other risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, when LDL-C is the sole lipid criterion for initiating therapy, patients with levels below the treatment initiation threshold who are at high risk because of low levels (<40 mg/dL) of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) might not be identified. Twenty percent of male patients with CHD in the United States fall into this category. The total cholesterol/HDL-C (TC/HDL-C) ratio predicts CHD risk regardless of the absolute LDL-C and HDL-C.

METHODS: We compared guidelines based on TC/HDL-C and LDL-C with those recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III). Both sets of guidelines were applied to 9837 adults (>20 years of age) in the Turkish Heart Study, which has shown that 75% of men and 50% of women in Turkey have HDL-C <40 mg/dL.

RESULTS: ATP III guidelines identified 14% of Turkish adults, 20 years or older, as candidates for lifestyle treatment only and an additional 18% for drug treatment. In conjunction with ATP III LDL-C thresholds, the TC/HDL-C ratio (>3.5, patients with CHD; > or =6.0, 2+ risk factors, > or =7.0, 0 to 1 risk factor) assigned lifestyle therapy alone to 18% and drug treatment to an additional 36%. Among primary prevention subjects at high risk because of age (men > or =45 years; women > or =55 years), both sets of guidelines prescribed lifestyle therapy for only 5%; however, drug treatment was recommended for an additional 13% by ATP III guidelines and an additional 18% by TC/HDL-C and LDL-C.

CONCLUSIONS: In populations at risk for CHD caused by low HDL-C, qualification of subjects for treatment based on either the TC/HDL-C ratio or LDL-C thresholds identifies more high-risk subjects for treatment than LDL-C threshold values alone, and use of the ratio, instead of risk tables, simplifies the approach for physicians.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"