Cholesterol Guidelines for Adults (2001)

In July of 2004, the National Cholesterol Education Program released updated guidelines. For this up-to-date information, please read the New Cholesterol Guidelines article.

The Third Report Of The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP)

Scientists have made great strides in the past decade in preventing coronary heart disease (CHD). The most common form of CHD is a heart attack. Lowering cholesterol, especially the LDL form of cholesterol, is the most important aspect of preventing CHD.

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) published a set of guidelines for the testing and the management of high blood cholesterol in adults in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 16, 2001). These new guidelines, produced by a panel of experts, are an update of the guidelines published by the NCEP in 1993. The NCEP periodically publishes guideline updates as warranted by advances in the science of cholesterol and CHD prevention.

The new NCEP guidelines address the following issues:

  1. Who should undergo blood cholesterol screening and what blood lipids (fats) should be checked?
  2. What are the desirable and undesirable levels of different blood lipids?
  3. What should be the first priority (the primary target) in preventing CHD?
  4. How is a person's risk of developing CHD estimated?
  5. How low should LDL cholesterol be?
  6. What is Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC)?
  7. Who should be placed on Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC)?
  8. Who should be considered for lipid-lowering medications?
  9. What is metabolic syndrome?
  10. How is metabolic syndrome treated?
  11. Management Of High Blood Cholesterol In Adults At A Glance