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Improving the care of high-risk patients: The potential of PCSK9

      This month's commentary highlights the potential of novel agents that target proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9). Adding to the monoclonal antibody therapies, the most advanced now in Phase III development, is a proof of concept study for a small interfering RNA (siRNA) that inhibits PCSK9 synthesis. If shown to be safe and effective in the long-term, these agents will play an important role in the management of patients at increased risk of accelerated atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, including those with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), who are often undertreated. This issue has been highlighted by the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) Consensus Statement [
      • Nordestgaard B.G.
      • Chapman M.J.
      • Humphries S.E.
      • et al.
      Familial hypercholesterolaemia is underdiagnosed and undertreated in the general population: guidance for clinicians to prevent coronary heart disease: Consensus Statement of the European Atherosclerosis Society.
      ]. Recently, the International Atherosclerosis Society recommended that: ‘…the paper should be compulsory reading for all who are committed to reducing the worldwide burden of atherosclerosis and its associated cardiovascular disease [
      International Atherosclerosis Society
      From the IAS President’s desk.
      ].’
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