The 2018 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Multisociety (AHA/ACC) guidelines and the 2019 European Society of Cardiology/European Atherosclerosis Society (ESC/EAS) guidelines on lipid management were published less than a year apart. Both guidelines focus on reducing cardiovascular risk, but they follow different approaches in terms of methods of risk estimation, definitions of at-risk groups, and treatment goals to achieve this common underlying objective. Both recommend achieving risk-based percentage reductions of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels with statin therapy. The ESC/EAS guidelines additionally recommend target LDL-C levels and are more liberal in supporting the use of both statin and nonstatin therapies across broader patient groups. The AHA/ACC guidelines may be considered more conservative, reserving the addition of nonstatins to maximally tolerated statins for only select patient groups based on specific LDL-C thresholds. One of the main reasons for these differences is incorporation of cost value considerations by the AHA/ACC guidelines, whereas the ESC/EAS guidelines consider an ideal setting with unlimited resources while making recommendations. In this review, we discuss similarities and differences between the 2 lipid guidelines to help clinicians become more cognizant of these recommendations and provide the best individualized patient care.
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