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.

Experience patients can rely on

Patients can rely on excellent care at Penn because: 

  • The Lipid Disorders Program is the region's largest and most well known for the diagnosis and management of lipid disorders. It is part of Penn's fully integrated approach to heart care and disease prevention.

Physicians with credentials that translate to the best in quality care

Penn physicians are able to provide quality care because:

  • Penn's specialists in lipid disorders are board certified internal medicine and/or cardiovascular disease.
  • They are leaders in the field of preventive cardiovascular medicine, cholesterol metabolism and atherosclerosis.
  • They provide consultation and training for other medical professionals around the world.
  • They are regularly acknowledged for their talent by both peers and consumers and have been recognized by Best Doctors in America, Philadelphia magazine's “Top Docs” and America's Top Doctors.

Unique capabilities and expertise

You can expect to benefit from Penn's unique capabilities and expertise because: 

  • Patients with unusually high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) who are unresponsive to drug treatment can benefit from LDL apheresis (a dialysis-like treatment). Penn's program is one of the largest in the country.

Active research programs that put Penn at the forefront of new developments in heart transplantation

Penn researchers are internationally known for their work in novel approaches to boosting HDL (good cholesterol) levels and function and in gene therapy to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

In This Section

Treatment Team

Meet the team of experts who are leaders in the treatment of lipid disorders.

Patient Stories

Hear stories from patients with lipid disorders that resisted normal therapies, and how they managed their disease.

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