In the Clinic is a monthly feature in Annals of Internal Medicine introduced in January 2007 that focuses on practical management of patients with common clinical conditions. It offers evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about screening, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, and patient education and provides physicians with tools to improve the quality of care. All ACP members and Annals subscribers have full access to this content.
Dyslipidemia is an important risk factor for coronary artery disease and stroke. All persons with dyslipidemia should be advised to focus on lifestyle interventions, including regular aerobic exercise, a healthy diet, maintenance of a healthy weight, and abstinence from smoking. In addition to lifestyle interventions, lipid-lowering therapy should be considered for persons at moderate to high risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease based on validated risk equations. Statin therapy is the first-line medical treatment for dyslipidemia due to its effectiveness and favorable adverse effect profile, but newer treatments provide additional tools for clinicians to effectively treat dyslipidemia.
Evidence for diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) has expanded substantially since 2017, when In the Clinic last considered this subject. Direct oral anticoagulants have become the predominant therapy for thromboembolic disease, and antidotes for these drugs are now available. Device-based left atrial appendage occlusion is frequently used in patients who cannot tolerate systemic anticoagulation, and growing evidence suggests that early rhythm control improves outcomes. Catheter ablation is now frequently performed to prevent recurrent AF. Managing risk factors for AF, such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, remains paramount in prevention of this condition.