Clinical reasoning and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Journal Article (Editorial)

All the major lipid prevention guidelines agree that the 10-year risk of a cardiovascular event should be the primary method to select individuals for statin prevention of a cardiovascular event. They also all rely on LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) as the primary metric to monitor lipid lowering therapy. These two principles form the major instruments on which primary prevention of cardiovascular disease is based worldwide. Their application is based on decades of prospective observational studies and large numbers of randomized clinical trials. Their development and application are milestones in medical progress. But are there limits, which were unseen and unintended, that need to be identified and overcome so that cardiovascular prevention can improve? Based on new insights and old knowledge, this Viewpoint will apply Clinical Reasoning, the process by which we integrate all the relevant knowledge, including the knowledge we have gained from physiology, pathology, epidemiology, metabolism, experimental models of disease, and our clinical experience as well as the results of randomized clinical trials to the analysis of a single case to answer these questions. Moreover, this Viewpoint will challenge the universal practice of relating the clinical outcomes of the major successful lipid lowering trials to the decrease in LDL-C and argue that cardiovascular prevention should move from the Risk model to the Causal Benefit model. This Viewpoint will be framed around a single case because, as caregivers, we make decisions case by case and because, as caregivers, the individual is the true object of our concern.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Allan, S; Pencina, M; Thanassoulis, G

Published Date

  • May 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 394 - 398

PubMed ID

  • 33992590

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1933-2874

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jacl.2021.04.001


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States