Recommendations for treatment of hyperlipidemia in adults. A joint statement of the nutritism committee and the Council on arteriosclerosis
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For many years the American Heart Association (AHA) has advocated modification of risk factors as a safe and effective means of reducing coronary heart disease (CHD). The major risk factors are elevated plasma lipids (especially cholesterol), hypertension, smoking, diabetes mellitus, and obesity. Since Americans in general have relatively high cholesterol levels that appear to enhance risk for CHD, the AHA has recommended a dietary plan designed to reduce the plasma cholesterol to a safer level for the general public. The essential feature of this plan is curtailed intakes of total fat, saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol. Adoption of the AHA recommendation for the general public, however, may not be sufficient for patients with definite hyperlipidemia. This document has been prepared to guide the physician in treatment of patients with proven hyperlipidemia. Particular attention has been directed to dietary therapy as the initial mode of treatment. This therapy consists of a progressive reduction in total fat, saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol. The first step in the plan corresponds to AHA dietary recommendation for the general public. If the response to this first step is inadequate, further dietary restrictions are advocated. An attempt has been made to develop a unified approach to dietary therapy of hyperlipidemia. Nonetheless, causes of hyperlipidemia are multiple and patients differ from one another; individualization of therapy may be required in some cases.