Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III)

NHLBI Responds to Center for Science in the Public Interest Letter on Cholesterol Guidelines

The following letter from NHLBI Acting Director Dr. Barbara Alving to Merrill Goozner of Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) responds to a letter initiated by CSPI that questioned the scientific basis and objectivity of the 2001 Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) recommendations for cholesterol management and a 2004 update commenting on these recommendations, which were developed by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). The September 23 letter, signed by CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson, PhD, and 34 MD’s and PhD’s, called on NCEP to form an independent panel to re-review the data underlying these clinical practice guidelines. Dr. Alving’s response describes the abundant evidence that supports cholesterol lowering and states, “The ATP III recommendations have a sound scientific basis, and NHLBI has used a careful development process, including multiple levels of review, to ensure the integrity and objectivity of the guidelines. Thus, the Institute does not believe a re-review of the data is warranted at this time...When the results of the current ongoing trials are available, the Institute will consider the formation of a new panel to update the existing guidelines.”

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