Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease still represents the leading cause of death in Western countries. A wealth of scientific evidence demonstrates that increased blood cholesterol levels have a major impact on the outbreak and progression of atherosclerotic plaques. Moreover, several cholesterol-lowering pharmacological agents, including statins and ezetimibe, have proved effective in improving clinical outcomes. This document focuses on the clinical management of hypercholesterolaemia and has been conceived by 16 Italian medical associations with the support of the Italian National Institute of Health. The authors discuss in detail the role of hypercholesterolaemia in the genesis of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. In addition, the implications for high cholesterol levels in the definition of the individual cardiovascular risk profile have been carefully analysed, while all available therapeutic options for blood cholesterol reduction and cardiovascular risk mitigation have been explored. Finally, this document outlines the diagnostic and therapeutic pathways for the clinical management of patients with hypercholesterolaemia.
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine