A review of the treatment guidelines on the management of low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol

Cardiology. 2004;102(2):61-6. doi: 10.1159/000077906. Epub 2004 Apr 19.


This paper aims to review the guidelines on the importance given to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) as a risk factor or as threshold and target level in the treatment of dyslipidemia. We developed a strategy with cholesterol-related key words to search for guidelines in the major databases. The Appraisal of Guidelines Research Evaluation (AGREE) instrument was used for the evaluation and inclusion of the guidelines. In total nine guidelines were selected. Almost all selected guidelines consider low HDL-C as a marker of an increased risk for coronary heart disease. However, only few guidelines use the level of HDL-C as a threshold or target level for the treatment of dyslipidemia. The guidelines provide only little information on the management of patients with treatment-induced low HDL-C. Instead of using total cholesterol (TC) or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) we consider the use of the ratios of TC to HDL-C or LDL-C to HDL-C as a threshold as well as a target for treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Factors


  • Cholesterol, HDL