187. Guidelines: 2021 ESC Cardiovascular Prevention – Question #1 with Dr. Eugene Yang

This question refers to Sections 3.2 and 3.3 of the2021 ESC CV Prevention Guidelines. The question is asked by studentDr. Hirsh Elhence, answered first by Ohio State University Cardiology Fellow Dr. Alli Bigeh, and then by expert facultyDr. Eugene Yang.
Dr. Yang is professor of medicine of theUniversity of Washingtonwhere he is medical director of the Eastside Specialty Center and the co-Director of the Cardiovascular Wellness and Prevention Program. Dr. Yang is former Governor of the ACC Washington Chapterand current chair of the ACC Prevention of CVD Section.
The CardioNerds Decipher The Guidelines Series for the 2021 ESC CV Prevention Guidelinesrepresents a collaboration with theACC Prevention of CVD Section, theNational Lipid Association, andPreventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.
Question #1
A 48-year-old Pakistani woman with rheumatoid arthritis comes to your clinic asking how she can reduce her risk of ASCVD. Her mother died of an MI at age 45, her father is healthy at age 79. Her calculated 10-year risk based on SCORE2 is 3%. SBP is 120 mmHg, LDL is 120 mg/dL. What is the next best step? A. Order an echocardiogram B. Schedule a follow-up appointment in 1 year C. Discuss initiating a statin D. Repeat lipid panel in 3-5 years 
Answer #1
Answer: C. Discuss Initiating a statin The absolute benefit derived from risk factor modification depends on the absolute risk of CVD and the absolute improvements in each risk factor category. Risk factor treatment recommendations are based on categories of CVD risk (“low-to-moderate”, “high”, and “very high”). The cut-off risk levels for these categories are numerically different for various age groups to avoid undertreatment in the young and to avoid overtreatment in the elderly. As age is a major driver of CVD risk, but lifelong risk factor treatment benefit is higher in younger people, the risk thresholds for considering treatment are lower for younger people as per the ESC guidelines. Treatment decisions should be made with shared decision-making valuing patient preference.  Option A is INCORRECT- there is a lack of convincing evidence that echocardiography improves CVD risk reclassification, and it is NOT recommended to improve CV risk prediction. (Class III, LOE B) Option B is INCORRECT- simply doing nothing is not appropriate for this patient with elevated CVD risk.  Option C is CORRECT- This patient has a seemingly low 10-year CVD risk based on SCORE 2 of 3% and her SBP is controlled; however, given her age she is considered as having high CVD risk, therefore treatment should be considered. Stepwise approach involves targeting LDL <100 (class IIa) so initiating a statin would be appropriate. This patient also carries several risk enhancing modifiers including Pakistani ethnicity, family history of premature CVD, and inflammatory comorbidity. All patients should be counseled on smoking cessation,