- Last Update On : 2013-01-25
Elevated LDL cholesterol is a major cause of coronary heart disease (CHD). Recent clinical trials have convincingly demonstrated that LDL lowering therapy reduces the risk for CHD. The National Cholesterol Education Program’s (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults recently published their updated clinical guideline for cholesterol testing and management (JAMA 2001; 285:2486), which is referred to as the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III). ATP III recommends intensive treatment for patients with CHD and primary prevention in persons with multiple risk factors.
The new guideline recommends that a fasting lipid panel should be obtained once every 5 years for all adults aged 20 years or older. The panel should include total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. The new guideline also states that a lipid panel should be ordered within 24 hours of admission when patients are hospitalized for acu