PCNA Endorses New Cholestrol and Physical Acitivity Guidelines

Prevention was a major theme of the 2018 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions held in Chicago this November. Two guideline updates are especially relevant to preventive cardiovascular nurses.

The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association endorses the AHA’s adoption of the newly released U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The updated cholesterol guidelines were also unveiled with more personalized risk assessment, additional treatment options and a lifespan approach including recommendations for women and children to lessen lifetime risk.

“PCNA looks forward to providing updated education and tools for nurses and patients utilizing this information in the fight against cardiovascular disease and stroke,” said PCNA President Jo-Ann Eastwood, PhD, RN, CNS, ACNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN.

A summary of the guidelines is found below.

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans evidence-based physical activity guidance for clinicians to share with their patients in order to inspire them to get more active. Called the “Move Your Way” campaign, the physical activity guideline recommends that adults get 150 minutes weekly of aerobic activity along with 2 weekly sessions of strength training. Kids and teens are encouraged to get at least 60 minutes of activity every day. The core message for everyone is to do what you can to move more and for health care providers to start the conversation, focus on benefits, address the barriers and provide recommendations in the form of a “prescription” which patients may take more seriously.

2018 Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol

This update for the 2013 cholesterol guideline continues to focus on LDL-C management but declines to set an ideal target blood level for LDL-C. The guideline recognizes, in principal, that “lower is better” when it comes to LDL-C. An optimal total cholesterol level is about 150 mg/dL with LDL-C at or below 100 mg/dL; and adults with LDL-C in this level have lower rates of heart disease and stroke. Risk assessment and shared-decision making are emphasized, and recommendations include using coronary artery calcium tests to clarify risk for some patients aged 40-75 for whom risk status is uncertain. Treatment includes the use of maximally tolerated statin followed by ezetimibe and PCSK9-I in high-risk patients who have LDL-C greater than 70 mg/dL.

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