Synopses & Reviews
The recent symposium and the appearance of this new book on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism take place at a very unusual time for the development of this area. After the publication and wide acceptance of the results of the cholestyramine study by the Lipid Clinics in the USA, showing for the first time a direct association between drug induced reduction of plasma levels of total and LDL cholesterol and coronary heart disease in a high risk population, an unparalleled interest in drugs and other procedures able to control plasma cholesterol levels has been activated. Two other significant events occurred during 1986 and 1987: the availability of compact instruments for the immediate determination of total cholesterol in plasma or total blood and the developments of new agents such as the inhibitors of HMG-CoA (hydroxymethyl- glutaryl CoA) reductase and ACAT inhibitors, with potentially great effect on plasma lipid levels after oral administration. These new advances, together with the combined efforts of cell biologists and lipoprotein chemists, have set the pace for an exciting period of research and clinical applications of diets and drugs af- fecting lipids. This volume, which includes the work of many of the leading world laboratories, represents an authoritative and up-to-date ap- praisal of the status of the art and a stimulus to future research at laboratory and clinical level in an area of opportunity for clinical and preventive medicine.