Despite the widespread dissemination of clinical practice guidelines on the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD), CVD causes one third of deaths worldwide and almost half of all deaths in the developed world. It is therefore likely that, although some aspects of CVD management have improved, there is still a significant shortfall between what is known about CVD prevention and what is put into action. Twenty-one experts in the field of CVD from around the world attended a focus panel meeting in Marlow-on-Thames, UK (see acknowledgements for a list of meeting participants). These experts were invited to discuss practical strategies and tactics for overcoming barriers to the implementation of guidelines on CVD prevention, and lipid management in particular. This article reviews and updates the key topics presented during the course of the meeting, captures the essence of the group discussions, and summarizes the meeting outcomes. The participants concluded that initial efforts to implement CVD prevention guidelines more effectively are best directed at high-risk patients who have already been identified. Once current patients achieve their targets, more attention can be paid to finding untreated patients at risk. Recommendations from the expert panel included: Harmonize guidelines; focus on common areas of consensus rather than state-of-the-art science. Remove the boundary between primary and secondary prevention and focus on level of overall risk. Help policy makers understand the different components of CVD. Include professional societies from different specialties in guideline development and implementation, to increase ownership and decrease fragmentation of guideline committees.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





532 - 541


Australia, Canada, Cardiovascular Diseases, Europe, Guideline Adherence, Health Education, Humans, Hypolipidemic Agents, Lipids, Risk Assessment, United States