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Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein B for cardiovascular care.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Some experts and consensus groups continue to argue that apolipoprotein B (apoB) should not be introduced broadly into clinical care. But, too often, the present approach to clinical care is not succeeding. An important reason for this failure, we believe, is that the conventional approach limits what the expert clinician can accomplish and is too complex, confusing, and contradictory for primary care physicians to apply effectively in their practise.

RECENT FINDINGS: There are four major reasons that apoB should be measured routinely in clinical care. First, apoB is a more accurate marker of cardiovascular risk than LDL-C or non-HDL-C. Second, the measurement of apoB is standardized whereas the measurements of LDL-C and non-HDL-C are not. Third, with apoB and a conventional lipid panel, all the lipid phenotypes can be simply and accurately distinguished. This will improve the care of the expert. Fourth, apoB, as the single measure to evaluate the success of therapy, would simplify the process of care for primary care physicians.

SUMMARY: By introducing apoB broadly into clinical care, the process of care will be improved for both the expert and the primary care physician, and this will improve the outcomes of care.

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