How are the cardiovascular risk factors categorized in patients with elevated lipid levels?

Updated: Nov 30, 2018
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The guidelines that cover the screening of patients for elevated serum lipid levels, and the treatment of patients with lipid abnormalities, rest on calculations of individual patients’ risk for a future cardiovascular event. Broadly, risk factors are arbitrarily divided into three major categories: nonmodifiable, modifiable, and emerging. See Table 1, below.

Table 1. Basic Categories of Risk Factors for Future Cardiovascular Events (Open Table in a new window)


Risk Factors

Nonmodifiable risk factors

Age, sex, family history, genetic predisposition

Modifiable risk factors

Smoking, atherogenic diet, alcohol intake, physical activity, dyslipidemias, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome

Emerging risk factors

Elevation in C-reactive protein (CRP); fibrinogen; coronary artery calcification (CAC); homocysteine; lipoprotein(a); small, dense LDL

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