Treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk in adults: synopsis of the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association cholesterol guideline

Ann Intern Med. 2014 Mar 4;160(5):339-43. doi: 10.7326/M14-0126.


Description: In November 2013, the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) released a clinical practice guideline on the treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce cardiovascular risk in adults. This synopsis summarizes the major recommendations.

Methods: In 2008, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute convened the Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) IV to update the 2001 ATP-III cholesterol guidelines using a rigorous process to systematically review randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses of RCTs that examined cardiovascular outcomes. The panel commissioned independent systematic evidence reviews on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol goals in secondary and primary prevention and the effect of lipid drugs on atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events and adverse effects. In September 2013, the panel's draft recommendations were transitioned to the ACC/AHA.

Recommendations: This synopsis summarizes key features of the guidelines in 8 areas: lifestyle, groups shown to benefit from statins, statin safety, decision making, estimation of cardiovascular disease risk, intensity of statin therapy, treatment targets, and monitoring of statin therapy.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Life Style
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Risk Factors


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors