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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Pharmacology of Antihyperlipidemic Medications for Laboratory Professionals. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Cholesterol Screening and Management Guidelines

Due to the variety and disagreement within medical organizations, this course will only present one organization's guidelines for cholesterol screening cholesterol management. The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines are referenced. Please be aware that there are numerous other organizations who present their own goals and management guidelines, but these are out of the scope of this activity.
The USPSTF recommends screening for and treating lipid disorders with statins in adults aged 40-75 who have a 10-year cardiovascular risk of more than 10%. The cardiovascular risk is calculated using a scoring tool available to clinicians. The risk calculator takes into account the following variables:
  • Patient's age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL
  • Blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
When a clinician determines that a patient requires a “statin” or other medication to lower their serum cholesterol, the “goal” cholesterol number is unclear and beyond the scope of this presentation. The laboratory professional should be aware, however, that most guidelines for patients receiving lipid lowering medications recommend serum LDL concentrations of AT LEAST < 100 mg/dL. Some guidelines recommend even further reductions in serum LDL.