2019 ESC/EAS Guidelines for the management of dyslipidaemias: lipid modification to reduce cardiovascular risk: The Task Force for the management of dyslipidaemias of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS)
The previous ESC/EAS lipid Guidelines were published in August 2016. The emergence of a substantial body of evidence over the last few years has required new, up-to-date Guidelines.
New evidence has confirmed that the key initiating event in atherogenesis is the retention of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (LDL-C) and other cholesterol-rich apolipoprotein (Apo) B-containing lipoproteins within the arterial wall.2 Several recent placebo-controlled clinical studies have shown that the addition of either ezetimibe or anti-proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to statin therapy provides a further reduction in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk, which is directly and positively correlated with the incrementally achieved absolute LDL-C reduction. Furthermore, these clinical trials have clearly indicated that the lower the achieved LDL-C values, the lower the risk of future cardiovascular (CV) events, with no lower limit for LDL-C values, or ‘J’-curve effect. In addition, studies of the clinical safety of these very low achieved LDL-C values have proved reassuring, albeit monitoring for longer periods is required. For raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (HDL-C), recent studies have indicated that the currently available therapies do not reduce the risk of ASCVD. Finally, human Mendelian randomization studies have demonstrated the critical role of LDL-C, and other cholesterol-rich ApoB-containing lipoproteins, in atherosclerotic plaque formation and related subsequent CV events. Thus, there is no longer an ‘LDL-C hypothesis’, but established facts that increased LDL-C values are causally related to ASCVD, and that lowering LDL particles and other ApoB-containing lipoproteins as much as possible reduces CV events.
In order to be aligned with these new findings, the ESC/EAS Task Force members who have written these Guidelines have proposed new LDL-C goals, as well as a revised CV risk stratification, which are especially relevant to high- and very-high-risk patients.
These novel ESC/EAS Guidelines on lipids provide important new advice on patient management, which should enable more clinicians to efficiently and safely reduce CV risk through lipid modification.