Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that applying the pediatric cholesterol guidelines for young people aged 17 to 21 years could lead to a greater use of statins among this patient population. This new study looked to compare the number of young people who would need pharmacologic therapy under the pediatric and adult guidelines. A cross-sectional analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey population included 6,338 participants aged 17 to 21 years. Researchers calculated that 2.5% of this population would require statin therapy if applying pediatric guidelines, whereas only 0.4% would need it under the adult guidelines. Authors also found that those who qualified under the pediatric guidelines had lower mean LDL-C levels, but had more risk factors, such as hypertension, smoking, and obesity. Essentially, a young adult whose pediatrician prescribed a statin under the pediatric guidelines, might switch to another physician where the adult guidelines would not require statin therapy. With these differing numbers, how would you suggest physicians make decisions regarding the treatment of young people who are in transition to adulthood?
Photo courtesy of [arztsamui]/http://freedigitalphotos.net