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Lowered Lipid Targets Difficult to Achieve

Revised target of 70 mg/dL for acute coronary syndrome patients significantly increases number of patients requiring treatment

WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute coronary syndrome, reducing the target goal for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from 100 mg/dL to 70 mg/dL is difficult to achieve using current lipid-lowering monotherapy, according to study findings published in the May issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Michael C. Kontos, M.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and colleagues conducted a study of 1,322 patients with myocardial infarction, significant coronary disease revealed by angiography or a history of coronary artery disease. When they were assessed for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, 43 percent had levels that enabled them to reach a target goal of less than 100 mg/dL and only 2.5 percent had levels that were 50 percent or more above target.

However, based on the target of 70 mg/dL, 85 percent of patients needed treatment to meet that goal and 23 percent were 50 percent or more off target. This group of patients would likely not be able to attain the 70 mg/dL goal with a single lipid-lowering drug, the authors note.

"Our data indicate that changing the target level to 70 mg/dL would not serve as an effective performance measure because achieving this level of lipid reduction would be difficult, even if multiple medications are used," the authors conclude.

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