JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Lipids for psychiatrists - an overview

Ian S Young
Journal of Psychopharmacology 2005, 19 (6 Suppl): 66-75
16280339
Serum cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are positively related to cardiovascular disease, while HDL cholesterol has an inverse relationship. Measurement of lipids is essential in individuals with established cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes, and may also be carried out in healthy individuals as part of cardiovascular risk assessment. Lifestyle measures are important in cardiovascular disease prevention, but the mainstay of lipid lowering therapy is appropriate use of lipid lowering drugs. Total and LDL cholesterol are the primary targets for treatment, but consideration should also be given to raising HDL cholesterol and lowering triglycerides where appropriate. Statins are the most frequently used lipid lowering agents, but there is an important place for other drugs, including ezetimibe, fibrates and nicotinic acid.

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