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Report: Cholesterol roadblocks and solutions

For health professionals


Report: Cholesterol roadblocks and solutions

Tackling a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease – a report from Australia’s National Roundtable on Cholesterol 2022

Despite the proven efficacy of cholesterol-lowering medicines and lifestyle management, too many Australians are not receiving interventions that help achieve target cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease and strokes.1-8

To find the solutions to Australia’s cholesterol problem, multidisciplinary experts from around the country met in June 2022 for a roundtable discussion. Findings and key takeaways are synthesised in this report, which highlights:

  • The most significant barriers standing in the way of optimal plasma cholesterol management in Australia, as identified by attendees
  • Top-priority solutions to Australia’s cholesterol problem from national experts, categorised into primary prevention, secondary prevention and familial hypercholesterolaemia
  • An outline of next steps to develop and implement a clear action plan that will address the devastating burden of high cholesterol on CVD risk in Australia

On 30 June 2022, the Heart Foundation led a National Cholesterol Roundtable in Canberra, with over 30 leading experts in attendance representing primary and specialty care, researchers, policymakers, public health, consumers and pharmaceutical industry.

Participants agreed that a substantial proportion of heart attacks and strokes could be prevented by taking practical, cost-effective steps to increase awareness of cholesterol as a leading risk factor for heart disease and join up the different parts of our health system.

A draft of the World Heart Federation’s Roadmap for Cholesterol – 2022 update provided the framework for the discussion.

The event was sponsored by Amgen and Novartis.

Amgen and Novartis Logo

1. Hespe CM, Campain A, Webster R, et al. Implementing cardiovascular disease preventive care guidelines in general practice: an opportunity missed. Med J Aust 2020; 213(7):327-328. doi:10.5694/mja2.50756

2. Alsadat N, Hyun K, Boroumand F, et al. Achieving lipid targets within 12 months of an acute coronary syndrome: an observational analysis. Med J Aust 2022; 216(9):463-468. doi:10.5694/mja2.51442

3. Brieger D, D'Souza M, Hyun K, et al. Intensive lipid-lowering therapy in the 12 months after an acute coronary syndrome in Australia: an observational analysis. Med J Aust 2019; 210(2):80-85. doi:10.5694/mja2.12035

4. Simons LA. An updated review of lipid-modifying therapy. Med J Aust 2019; 211(2):87-92. doi:10.5694/mja2.50142

5. Watts GF, Sullivan DR, Hare DL, et al. Integrated guidance for enhancing the care of familial hypercholesterolaemia in Australia. Heart Lung Circ 2021; 30(3):324-349. doi:10.1016/j.hlc.2020.09.943

6. Banks E, Crouch SR, Korda RJ, et al. Absolute risk of cardiovascular disease events, and blood pressure- and lipid-lowering therapy in Australia. Med J Aust 2016; 204(8):320. doi:10.5694/mja15.01004

7. Calabria B, Korda RJ, Lovett RW, et al. Absolute cardiovascular disease risk and lipid-lowering therapy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Med J Aust 2018; 209(1):35-41. doi:10.5694/mja17.00897

8. Juonala M, Sjöholm P, Pahkala K, et al. The Australian Aboriginal Birth Cohort study: socio-economic status at birth and cardiovascular risk factors to 25 years of age. Med J Aust 2019; 211(6):265-270. doi:10.5694/mja2.50285  

Last updated13 October 2022