Averting a pandemic health crisis in Europe by 2020: What physicians need to know regarding cholesterol management

Alberico L. Catapano, Terje R. Pedersen, Guy De Backer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) represents a major cause of premature death, disability, and escalating healthcare costs throughout Europe. According to a recent report by the Stockholm Network (an independent European 'think tank'), major political, economic, social, and medical changes are urgently needed with respect to cholesterol management to help prevent CVD. METHODS: To identify key cholesterol management issues that practitioners should consider to help prevent an impending European health crisis, our collective experience of policies and practices relating to CVD and cholesterol management in our respective countries was consolidated and used to develop this commentary. RESULTS: Physicians and healthcare workers are uniquely positioned to make immediate and meaningful improvements in preventing and treating CVD if they recognize and address a handful of key clinical issues pertaining to cholesterol management. These issues include utilizing newer combination therapies and realizing the limitations of statins, improving compliance with cholesterol-lowering therapies, promoting a healthy lifestyle and diet, making treatment decisions based on patients' total CVD risk, fostering communication between primary and secondary providers, and soliciting governmental funding to implement disease management programmes. CONCLUSIONS: By promptly and effectively addressing these cholesterol management issues, physicians and other healthcare professionals have an unprecedented opportunity to help reduce CVD in Europe to lessen the personal, social, and economic impact of this devastating disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-345
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cholesterol
  • Cholesterol-lowering therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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