A Clinical Guide to Combination Lipid-Lowering Therapy
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Purpose of Review
We provide an overview of our current understanding of combination lipid-lowering therapies intended for dyslipidemia treatment and cardiovascular disease prevention. First, we analyze recent statin and non-statin combination therapy guidelines and clinical studies since the publication of 2013 American College of Cardiology Cholesterol Guidelines. Second, we examine the clinical utility of non-statin agents alone and in combination in terms of LDL-C lowering and ASCVD risk reduction.
Medical societies, including the American College of Cardiology (ACC), National Lipid Association (NLA), and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), have released guidelines to address the appropriate use of non-statin therapies. The guidelines incorporated new evidence, including the IMPROVE-IT and FOURIER clinical trials, which demonstrate that the combination of statin therapy with other non-statin agents such as ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors has a significant clinical benefit. Increasing evidence that aggressive low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering leads to lower cardiovascular disease risk supports the need for continued exploration of the role of combination lipid-lowering therapies.
A review of guidelines and clinical trials evaluating non-statin agents illuminates the growing base of evidence and expert opinion supporting the use of combination lipid-lowering therapies. While the majority of clinical trial data utilizes dyslipidemia monotherapy, especially statins, combination therapies represent an opportunity for individualized, patient-centered approach to LDL-C lowering and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk reduction. The overview provides a perspective on lipid management intended for clinicians who seek additional information and guidance on the use of combination therapies.
KeywordsClinical practice guidelines Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) Dyslipidemia PCSK9 inhibitors Non-statins Cardiovascular disease prevention Ezetimibe Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) LDL-C targets
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Cori Russell, Samip Sheth, and Douglas Jacoby declare no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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