Study Seems to Support Targeted Lipid Screening in Younger Adults — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 16, 2017

Study Seems to Support Targeted Lipid Screening in Younger Adults

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

New findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine seem to support a targeted approach to lipid screening in younger adults. Currently, the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association recommend lipid screening for all adults older than 20, while the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises delaying screening to age 35 for men and age 45 for women without traditional CV risk factors.

Using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, researchers studied over 9600 adults aged 30–49 without diabetes or atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). They used the 2013 ACC/AHA ASCVD risk calculator to identify those at elevated risk (10-year risk above 5%).

Overall, 9% had elevated ASCVD risk. Among nonsmoking, nonhypertensive subjects, however, just 0.04% of women under age 50 and 0.09% of men under 40 had elevated risk. Less than 3% of the entire cohort had LDL levels of 190 mg/dL or greater.

The authors say their findings "would support the targeted approach of the USPSTF." Editorialists, meanwhile, write: "Those concerned with the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease should advocate for early-life LDL-C evaluation, not a delayed approach."

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