American College of Cardiology Targets Preventable Heart Disease with New Screening Campaign

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The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has launched a new partnership with Amgen and Esperion Therapeutics aimed at improving LDL screening among patients with and without a history of cardiovascular issues.

The new collaboration, the Driving Urgency in LDL Screening campaign, is designed to highlight the important role LDL screening plays in the diagnosis and management of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). High LDL levels suggest a patient faces a heightened risk of developing ASCVD or experiencing a myocardial infarction or stroke. Lifestyle changes and medical therapies can reduce a patient’s LDL—but if they never undergo screening, they may not even know they even have a problem.

Driving Urgency in LDL Screening is expected to involve approximately 30,000 healthcare providers, including both primary care physicians and cardiologists. The ACC will evaluate levels of LDL screening among these physicians, implement certain changes aimed at improving screening utilization and then review the impact of those changes after a 12-month intervention. The hope is that these changes can lead to increase adherence to industry guidelines related to lowering LDL levels and prescribing lipid-lowering medications; such improvements would suggest patients are more likely to see improvements in their health as time goes on.

“Cardiovascular disease is preventable in many cases, and early identification of risk is essential, especially for people at high risk,” ACC Chief Medical Officer Richard Kovacs, MD, said in a statement. “Through this program we're transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health for all by ensuring clinicians are informed of the latest screening recommendations and that patients have access to the highest quality care.”

“The current reality is that not enough patients are getting screened for elevated LDL–this is especially alarming for those who have established ASCVD,” added Paul Burton, MD, PhD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Amgen. “We see healthcare providers as a critical part of the solution but recognize that a shift of this scale requires assistance. We are proud to have joined forces with the ACC and Esperion on this collaborative effort to increase doctor-directed screening and, ultimately, helping to improve cardiovascular care and patient outcomes.”

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