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New guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association no longer recommend using specific cholesterol targets in the treatment of hyperlipidemia.1 HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) are the lipid-lowering drugs of first choice for treatment of most patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. They can decrease the incidence of major coronary events and death in such patients. Taken as an adjunct to diet, exercise, and smoking cessation, statins can also reduce the risk of first cardiovascular events and death in patients with risk factors such as elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and diabetes. Their benefits in these patients clearly outweigh their adverse effects. Combining a statin with another LDL-C lowering drug, such as colesevelam, niacin, or ezetimibe, can reduce LDL-C levels further than a statin alone, but studies demonstrating... more
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