The national cholesterol education program adult treatment panel ill guidelines.J Am Osteopath Assoc 2003; 103(1 Suppl 1):S1-5JA
Coronary heart disease (CHD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States with more than 40% of all deaths each year directly attributed to the disease. Current evidence suggests that early identification and aggressive modification of risk factors offer the most promising approach to reducing the burden of CHD. Dyslipidemia has been identified as the primary risk factor leading to the development of CHD. It is estimated that nearly 65 million Americans require some form of lipid-modification therapy. The National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) set of guidelines released in May 2001 provides physicians with evidence-based recommendations on the classification, diagnosis, and treatment of lipid disorders. New features of the guidelines include a scoring system for calculating CHD risk, as well as the identification of CHD risk equivalents, lower treatment target goals, and an emphasis on conditions conferring a higher risk for CHD, such as the metabolic syndrome. The ATP III emphasis on risk assessment substantially increases the number of patients considered at risk for CHD and will expand the number eligible for lifestyle and drug interventions. This article highlights the new recommendations and reviews the impact of ATP III on osteopathic physicians.