Penn Heart and Vascular

Overview of the Lipid Disorders Program

Specialized Treatment for High Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Penn Medicine's Lipid Disorders Program emphasizes one-on-one relationships with patients and practical treatment plans that fit every patient's lifestyle.

Lipid disorders – high LDL (or "bad cholesterol"), low HDL (or "good cholesterol"), and high triglycerides – are among the most common risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Keeping Heart Disease at Bay

The goal of the lipid disorders program at Penn is to reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular events by helping patients achieve target cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Studies show lipid clinics can benefit patients who have:

  • A family history of coronary artery disease.
  • Unexplained premature coronary artery disease.
  • Difficulty following recommended therapies.
  • Adverse reactions to standard therapy.
  • Complex lipid disorders such as:
    • Inherited lipid disease.
    • Extremely high lipid levels that are resistant to drug therapy.
  • Complicating factors such as:
    • Co-existing medical conditions.
    • Therapy that includes two or more liver metabolized drugs.

Personalized Treatment to Fit Any Lifestyle

Penn's Lipid Disorders Program team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and dietitians. Team members build one-on-one relationships with their patients and design practical treatment plans that fit the patient's lifestyle, achieving the best possible outcomes.

Services include:

  • Specialized tests to evaluate lipid disorders.
  • Screening for co-existing risk factors.
  • In-depth counseling for diet and lifestyle changes.
  • Education about potential non-prescription therapies.
  • Expert selection and fine tuning of lipid-modifying medications when needed.
  • Access to clinical trials of the newest agents for lipid disorders and prevention of cardiovascular disease.
  • LDL apheresis (a dialysis-like treatment to eliminate the cholesterol-containing particle low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from the bloodstream for patients with very high LDL levels that have not responded to diet and aggressive drug therapy.