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 proven effective in improving clinical outcomes. This document is focused on the clinical management of hypercholesterolemia and has been conceived by 16 Italian medical associations with the support of the Italian National Institute of Health. The authors have considered with particular attention the role of hypercholesterolemia in the genesis of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Besides, the implications of high cholesterol levels in the definition of the individual cardiovascular risk profile have been carefully analyzed, while all available therapeutic options for blood cholesterol reduction and cardiovascular risk mitigation have been considered. Finally, this document outlines the diagnostic and therapeutic pathways for the clinical management of patients with hypercholesterolemia.
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine