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Japan group decides on new guidelines for cholesterol control.

KOBE, July 19 Kyodo

A group of medical experts decided Friday on a new set of guidelines for tackling arteriosclerosis, including new standards for treating the disease based on an individual's risk factor.

The guidelines, released Friday at a meeting of the Japan Atherosclerosis Society (JAS) in the western Japan city of Kobe, relaxed standards with regard to treatment of people without risk factors and tightened them for those prone to hypercholesterolemia -- an excess of cholesterol in the blood, according to JAS members.

The guidelines also call for measuring the risk levels of arteriosclerotic diseases such as heart infarction and drawing up targeted values for fat control in detail, the JAS members said.

The new rules also promote healthy food intake, exercise and other measures to improve lifestyles as an alternative to reliance on medication.

Hypercholesterolemia is said to cause arteriosclerosis, which is a chronic disease in which the thickening of arterial walls leads to impaired blood circulation. Arteriosclerosis develops with aging, and in conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.

The risks of developing arteriosclerosis are high for people with diabetic, high blood pressure and smoking records, and especially for men aged 45 and up and women aged 55 and up.

In terms of a target level for beginning treatment, the standard for those without risk factors was loosened from 220 to 240 milligrams or below per 0.1 liter in terms of the total blood serum cholesterol value, according to society members.

For diabetic people, the standard was set at 200 mg or below per 0.1 liter.

However, the target level for detecting those with suspected hypercholesterolemia at the diagnosis stage will remain unchanged at 220 mg or more per 0.1 liter.

The new guidelines will be published in fall.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jul 22, 2002
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