Earlier this week, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology — the nation’s leading heart organizations — announced new national guidelines that will fundamentally reshape the use of cholesterol-lowering statin medicines that are now prescribed for a quarter of Americans over 40.
“As an organization that has been recognized as a national leader in the field of diabetes control, Kaiser Permanente is not only pleased with the findings, but that it further validates an approach to treat all high heart attack and stroke risk patients with diabetes with a fixed-dose statin. We have followed this practice since 2003,” said Jim Dudl, MD, diabetes clinical lead, Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute. “One of the basic tenants of Kaiser Permanente’s ALL/PHASE protocol is to use low-cost and generic medications and clinical interventions to reduce heart attacks across our membership.”
“The new AHA/ACC cholesterol recommendations are very similar to our Kaiser Permanente Integrated Cardiovascular Health guidelines, with an emphasis on treating the highest risk individuals with cholesterol lowering medications, while placing less emphasis on adjusting medications based on cholesterol measurements,” said Marc Jaffe, MD, clinical leader of the Kaiser National Integrated Cardiovascular Health Guideline Development Group. “The adoption of these guidelines will reduce barriers to care and facilitate more people getting the treatment they need to lower their risk of heart attack and stroke.”
“In addition to using this guideline at Kaiser Permanente, since 2006 we have invested more than $5 million to help our most vulnerable communities address the burden of cardiovascular risk and diabetes, regardless of cholesterol targets,” said Winston Wong, MD, medical director and community benefit director, Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives for Kaiser Permanente. “This program, which includes training health care providers in this approach to treatment, has reached more than 75,000 individuals in the under-served, low-income communities. We are proud that our experience in preventing heart attacks and strokes have benefited thousands of patients treated through our nation’s safety net.”