Fast forward - 17 April 2012

AFTER years of debate over precisely what lipid levels should warrant the initiation of statins in patients with diabetes, the newest upcoming therapeutic guidelines will steer away from hard and fast numbers.

Currently, various guidelines for when to begin lipid-lowering drugs have differing recommendations: the NHMRC, the Heart Foundation and the PBS each has its own set of criteria, said Associate Professor Sophia Zoungas, head of the diabetes research program at the George Institute for International Health in Sydney.

But she told MO that the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance was expected to issue a new set of comprehensive therapeutic guidelines for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in the next couple of months.

“The new guidelines will not be based on lipid levels,” Professor Zoungas said.

“They’ll be based on risks: so if you’re high risk based on absolute cardiovascular risk