Comparison of Transatlantic Approaches to Lipid Management: The AHA/ACC/Multisociety Guidelines vs the ESC/EAS Guidelines

Mayo Clin Proc. 2020 May;95(5):998-1014. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.01.011.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Hyperlipidemias / therapy*
  • Internationality
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors