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A Commitment to Clinical Practice
CHORI Scientist Selected for NIH Expert Panel on Cholesterol

“It is a pretty significant commitment, but we do it because we feel that it’s sufficiently important enough to have these guidelines that we’re willing to make that commitment.”

CHORI senior scientist, Ronald Krauss, MD, has been honored by being selected for the 2008 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults. The panels are convened every 7-8 years to review the current state of research and treatment in order to incorporate the latest research gains into national guidelines for cholesterol treatment in adults.

The 16 individuals on the panel represent a high degree of expertise in cardiovascular disease risk, cholesterol metabolism, pharmacological effects, and clinical outcomes The panel members will strive to make sure that any changes to the recommended guidelines are based on documented scientific evidence covering all aspects of cholesterol management, from diagnosis and evaluation of heart disease risk to setting treatment goals.

“It’s not possible to get the highest level of evidence for every issue, but we will assess all the relevant data that are out there, and this will be done very systematically” Dr. Krauss says. “The process will also identify areas that would benefit from additional research.”

Given the large number of studies that have been done in the last few years in the field of cholesterol management, from effects of diet on heart disease risk to the impact of cholesterol-reducing drugs on heart attacks and stroke, assembling and evaluating the evidence won’t be easy. Selection for serving on the panel may be an honor, but the work that goes along with it is considerable. However, researchers like Dr. Krauss are motivated to participate because developing the scientific foundations for the next set of treatment guidelines isn’t just an academic exercise.

“The process itself has considerable influence over clinical practice because the NIH has 20 or 25 affiliated professional organizations across the range of clinical and scientific disciplines,” Dr. Krauss says. This means that when the panel’s report is done, it goes directly to the clinical treatment community.

“It is a pretty significant commitment,” Dr. Krauss acknowledges. “But we do it because we feel that it’s sufficiently important enough to have these guidelines that we’re willing to make that commitment.”


Tuesday, May 17, 2011 8:19 AM

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