A high serum lipid level is a major modifiable risk factor associated with the development of CVD. Assess lipid levels as part of an absolute CVD risk assessment to account for the synergistic effect of multiple risk factors. Measuring lipid levels in the absence of absolute risk assessment may have limited benefit and not give an accurate representation of your patient’s risk of developing CVD.1
For example, if your patient has elevated lipid levels but no other risk factors, they may be at a low risk of developing CVD. Another patient with low lipid levels but other risk factors, including excess body fat, kidney dysfunction and elevated blood pressure may, be at high or very high risk of CVD.
Lipid assessment is recommended in otherwise healthy people as part of an absolute CVD risk calculation starting from age 45, or from age 35 in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.2
For more information
- Yusuf S, Hawken S, Ounpuu S, et al. Effect of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with myocardial infarction in 52 countries (the INTERHEART study): case-control study. Lancet 2004;364:937–52. [PubMed]
- The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice (the red book) 8th edn. Melbourne: RACGP, 2012. http://www.racgp.org.au/your-practice/guidelines/redbook (accessed 11 February 2013).