For over 30 years, intensive research efforts investigated the role of LDL cholesterol in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. In various settings, large statin trials showed an association between LDL cholesterol levels and cardiovascular event rates. This association is often referred to as the 'LDL cholesterol hypothesis'. More recent trials on agents with totally different modes of action confirmed this association and indicated a causal relationship between lower LDL cholesterol levels and improved cardiovascular outcomes. It has been proposed to term this causal relationship the 'LDL cholesterol principle'. It is to be expected that currently ongoing outcomes trials will further support the assumption of a causal relationship and will finally offer an armamentarium to therapists that will enable individualized treatment of dyslipidemias and their sequelae.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Dyslipidaemia; Lowering of LDL-cholesterol.