Elevated levels of blood lipids are well-documented risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Current classification schemes and treatment levels for hyperlipidemia are based on the National Cholesterol Education Panel's Adult Treatment Program-3 (ATP-III) guidelines. Extensive research over the past decade has raised the question whether or not ATP-III guidelines are sufficiently aggressive. New guidelines from ATP-IV are expected to be released in the near future, but in the meantime physicians are faced with uncertainty about how low to target low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, whether to pharmacologically treat high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and how best to achieve target goals.
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