ACC-AHA cardiovascular prevention guidelines drop cholesterol treatment goals


Although clinicians may be initially surprised by the guidelines, he said he believes they will be well received. Clinicians "will quickly see that the approach reflects current evidence, and that the approach simplifies care," said Dr. Rumsfeld, who served as one of the expert reviewers of the guidelines.

Lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk

The other two guidelines are on lifestyle management, and on overweight and obesity. The lifestyle management guideline includes recommendations for a dietary patterns that are heart healthy, including those with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; limiting saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium intake; and for a physical activity level that complements dietary recommendations," said Dr. Robert H. Eckel, cochair of the writing committee, and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, Denver.

The physical activity recommendations are based largely on a 2008 Department of Health and Human Services report, which provided support for 30-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity at least 3-4 days a week. For people who could benefit from a lower blood pressure, the guideline recommends a sodium intake of no more than 2,400 mg per day (a reduction from the current average of about 3,600 mg a day among U.S. adults), but points out that sodium intake of 1,500 mg a day or less has been associated with greater reductions in blood pressure.

Management of overweight and obesity in adults

The guidelines on the management of overweight and obesity in adults, developed with the Obesity Society, provide recommendations in five major areas and include a treatment algorithm on weight management, to help primary care providers address weight management in their patients, said Dr. Donna Ryan, cochair of the writing committee and professor emeritus at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge.

The guidelines help primary care providers identify which patients need to lose weight and how much weight loss is needed, as well as the benefits of weight loss, the best diet, the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions, and the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery.

The recommendations include the use of body mass index as "a quick and easy first screening step" to identify patients who may be at risk for obesity-related health problems, and weight circumference as an indicator of ASCVD risk, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality, Dr. Ryan said.

Since the ideal weight loss diet has not been identified, providers should recommend a diet that results in reduced caloric intake, and the type of diet "should really be determined by the patient’s preferences and their health status," such as a reduced calorie, reduced sodium diet for an overweight, hypertensive patient. Another recommendation is a comprehensive approach to weight loss that involves diet and physical activity, with counseling for 6 months or more – which ideally should be on-site group or individual counseling sessions with a trained professional for at least 1 year.

Bariatric surgery may be an option for patients with a BMI of 35 kg/m2, with comorbidities, or a BMI of 40. Although a "critical" area, recommendations on pharmacotherapy are not included, because at the time the guidelines were being developed, sibutramine (which has since been taken off the market) and orlistat were the only medications approved for weight loss in the United States.

Dr. Stone, Dr. Lloyd-Jones, and Dr. Rumsfeld had no disclosures.

Dr. Eckel disclosed ties to Merck, Pfizer, Abbott, Amylin, Eli Lilly, Esperion, Foodminds, Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk, Vivus, GlaxoSmithKline, and Sanofi-Aventis/Regeneron.

Dr. Ryan disclosed ties to Alere Wellbeing, Amylin, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Eisai, Novo Nordisk, Nutrisystem, Orexigen, Takeda, and Vivus. She is chief medical officer of Scientific Intake.


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