EAS Lipid Guidance: Start High-risk Patients on Combo Drug

 | Post date: 2021/06/30 | 

Very-high-risk dyslipidemia patients unlikely to reach goal with a statin should be given combination statin–ezetimibe (Nustendi) therapy upfront, rather than wasting time and resources on trialing a statin alone, suggests a practical guidance document.

The document points out that, even with high-intensity statin therapy, patients achieve a reduction in low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels of around 50%, which for many is not enough for them to achieve the stringent new guideline targets deemed necessary for risk reduction.

Instead, clinicians should determine at the first visit whether their patient, if they are not already on a statin, is likely to reach their goal with that drug alone, and if not, should immediately start them on the combination.

The guidance, which aims to offer a practical way to implement the 2019 European Society of Cardiology/EAS guidelines for the management of dyslipidemias, was published April 12 in Atherosclerosis.

Lead author Alberico L. Catapano, MD, PhD, discussed the new practical guidance with theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology at the recent European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) 2021 Virtual Congress.

He explained that the motivation for creating the practical guidance was "very simple," and concerns something already embedded in the ESC/EAS guidelines, it's just that "people didn't notice" it.

Catapano, professor of pharmacology at the University of Milan and past president of the EAS, said the guidelines set out the average reduction in LDL-cholesterol levels "you can get by starting with high-intensity therapy and/or starting with a combination therapy."

The guidelines, he said, suggest steps for achieving lipid control: begin with a statin, add ezetimibe if the patient is still not at goal, and proceed to a proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor if the patient is still not at target levels.


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