Should men at risk for cardiovascular disease receive earlier cholesterol treatment?
New guidelines on cholesterol treatment and cardiovascular risk assessment state that men have at least double the risk of dying from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or of having a heart attack or stroke as do women with a similar risk profile (based on age, smoking history, and cholesterol and blood pressure levels). The implications of this finding for when and how aggressively to treat high cholesterol are examined in an Editorial in Journal of Men's Health.
Stephen L. Kopecky, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and Ajay Nehra, MD, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, discuss the risk factors on which the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association based their new guidelines. They describe the value in developing 10-year risk and lifetime risk estimates and their use in educating patients and encouraging lifestyle changes.
The authors note the omission of erectile dysfunction as a risk marker, and they explain the new cholesterol treatment recommendations in the Editorial entitled "Cardiovascular Risk and Cholesterol Management in Men: Implications of the New Guidelines."