Welcome to this online tutorial focusing on the dietary management of dyslipidemias, as an important part in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This is a "refresher" course, for general practitioners (GPs) and healthcare professionals (HCPs) in primary care practices, to leverage existing knowledge in this key area.

In recent years, dietary habits and their influence on cardiovascular risk have been extensively reviewed. The most recent European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) guidelines on the management of dyslipidaemias1 and ESC CVD prevention guidelines2, also state that dietary modifications should form the basis for CVD prevention. This module will specifically address the role of dietary and lifestyle modifications, in particular the use of foods with added plant sterols/stanols, to help lower cholesterol levels and prevent CVD.

The aim of this tutorial is to provide you with the latest guidelines and practical advice to assist you when managing patients.

image Key areas covered:
  • Strategies for management of elevated cholesterol levels recommended by ESC and EAS, focus on the impact of dietary and lifestyle changes on heart health
  • The role of dietary fats, dietary fibres, and foods with added plant sterols/stanols in actively reducing cholesterol levels, and their place in the current nutritional guidelines for the prevention of CVD and the management of dyslipidaemias
  • Practical advice on motivating patients to make changes to their diet and lifestyle
imageLearning outcomes:
  • Understand the role of diet and lifestyle changes required to reduce cholesterol levels, and therefore prevent CVD and maintain a healthy heart
  • Identify patients at increased CVD risk due to elevated cholesterol levels, who will benefit from diet and lifestyle changes
  • Understand the role of dietary intervention including foods with added plant sterols and stanols in cholesterol lowering and identify those patients who will benefit from them
  • Know how to give dietary advice to help lower your patient's cholesterol levels and their risk of developing CVD

List of abbreviations used throughout the text

  • AHA: American Heart Association
  • ALA: Alpha Linolenic Acid
  • ASC: American Society of Cardiology
  • BMI: Body mass index
  • BP: Blood pressure
  • CHD: Coronary Heart Disease
  • CVD: Cardiovascular Disease
  • DALYs: Disability-adjusted life years
  • DASH: Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension
  • DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid
  • EAS: European Atherosclerosis Society
  • EPA: Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • ESC: European Society of Cardiology
  • FH: Familial Hypercholesterolemia
  • GPs: General practitioners
  • HCPs: Healthcare professionals
  • JBS: Joint British Societies
  • LA: Linoleic Acid
  • MUFA: Monounsaturated fatty acids
  • PREDIMED: Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet
  • PUFA: Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • RCTs: Randomized controlled trials
  • SAMS: Statin Associated Muscle Symptoms
  • SCORE: Systemic Coronary Risk Estimation
  • SFA: Saturated fatty acids
  • TC: Total cholesterol
  • TFA: Trans fatty acids
  • TG: Triglycerides
  • WHO: World Health Organization