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Clinical Cardiology
June 23, 1978

Treatment of Hyperlipemia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

JAMA. 1978;239(25):2696-2698. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280520068027

PREVENTION of premature vascular disease is the major goal in the treatment of hyperlipemia. Epidemiologic studies provide convincing evidence that hypercholesterolemia is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD).1 In fact, clinical manifestations of CHD parallel the serum cholesterol levels even within the "normal range" of serum cholesterol. Although no studies have proved that reduction of serum cholesterol levels decreases CHD or increases longevity, the overwhelming evidence linking hypercholesterolemia with premature CHD suggests that we should initiate efforts to lower serum cholesterol levels while we await final proof of beneficial effects.

Investigations have not yet shown that hypertriglyceridemia is an independent risk factor of CHD. However, these studies did not fully address the potential risk of hypertriglyceridemia because triglyceride levels ranged from 200 to 300 mg/dl in most subjects. Therefore, it is prudent to initiate treatment when serum triglyceride levels exceed 300 mg/dl.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) protects