National Cholesterol Education Program

The Center for Human Nutrition has had a close relationship to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) since the inception of NCEP in 1985. This is largely due to the involvement of Center Director Scott M. Grundy, M.D., Ph.D., and other Center investigators with the NCEP. Dr. Grundy has been the American Heart Association's representative to the NCEP from the beginning of the program. Other members of the Center for Human Nutrition have contributed to the NCEP as well. Among Center investigators, Margo Denke, M.D., played an important role on NCEP panels.

The NCEP is a national effort to promote understanding of the dangers of high blood cholesterol as a major cause of coronary heart disease. It consists of the representatives of a consortium of health-oriented organizations. These representatives make up the Coordinating Committee of the NCEP. The NCEP is sponsored and underwritten by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.

The Coordinating Committee meets about twice a year to develop the overall activities of the NCEP. Panels of experts produce the scientific products of the NCEP. These panels develop reports of the areas of interest of the NCEP. In addition, the NCEP carries out educational initiates for both the public and medical professionals. The reports are used by both NHLBI and participating organizations to promote educational efforts. The work of each panel can be reviewed briefly.

Adult Treatment Panel

The Adult Treatment Panel consists of a group of experts who develop guidelines for the medical profession for the clinical management of high blood cholesterol. There have been two Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) reports. The first report (ATP I) was published in 1987. The second, ATP II, was published in 1993. Dr. Grundy served as Chair for the panel that developed ATP II. The third, ATP III, was published in 2001. Dr. Grundy also was Chair of this panel. An update of the ATP III report was published in 2004. In addition, the NHLBI has co-sponsored workshops on the metabolic syndrome with the American Heart Association. The reports of ATP III and associated workshops are the following:

  • Report on the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults. Arch Intern Med 148:36-69, 1988.
  • Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults. Summary of the second report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP)
  • Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel II). JAMA 269:3015-3023, 1993.
  • Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults National Cholesterol Education Program: second report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of HIgh Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel II). Circulation 89:1329-1445, 1994.
  • Expert Panel on Detection Evaluation,and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults: Executive summary of the third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) expert panel on detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). JAMA 2001;285:2486-2497
  • National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III) final report. Circulation. 2002 Dec 17;106(25):3143-421.
  • Grundy SM, Brewer HB Jr, Cleeman JI, Smith SC Jr, Lenfant C; American Heart Association; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Definition of metabolic syndrome: Report of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/American Heart Association conference on scientific issues related to definition. Circulation. 2004 Jan 27;109(3):433-8.
  • Grundy SM, Hansen B, Smith SC Jr, Cleeman JI, Kahn RA; American Heart Association; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American Diabetes Association. Clinical management of metabolic syndrome: report of the American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/American Diabetes Association conference on scientific issues related to management. Circulation. 2004 Feb 3;109(4):551-6.
  • Grundy SM, Cleeman JI, Merz CN, Brewer HB Jr, Clark LT, Hunninghake DB, Pasternak RC, Smith SC Jr, Stone NJ; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American College of Cardiology Foundation; American Heart Association. Implications of recent clinical trials for the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. Circulation. 2004 Jul 13;110(2):227-39

The ATP reports are available on the NHLBI website

Population Panel

The Population Panel report outlines a strategy for reducing blood cholesterol in the whole population of the United States. The greatest potential for lowering the risk for coronary heart disease in the population is through the population report. Strategies for change include modifying foods available through the food industry, education in the workplace and at school, public education through the mass media, physician and professional education, and governmental efforts to improve food quality. The report has contributed to a reduction in average serum cholesterol in the general population of the United States over the past two decades. The following cites the Population Panel Report.

  • Report of the Expert Panel on Population Strategies for Blood Cholesterol Reduction: Executive Summary. Arch. Intern Med. 151: 1071-1084, 1991
  • Report of the Expert Panel for Population Strategies for Blood Cholesterol Reduction. The National Cholesterol Education Program. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH Publication No. 90-3046, Bethesda, MD, November. 1990

Children's Panel Report

This report was published in 1991. The Children's Panel report outlines the approach to the problem of high blood cholesterol in children and adolescents. It takes an in-depth look into the issues of testing of children and adolescents for cholesterol, institution of dietary control of high blood cholesterol, and when to employ cholesterol-lowering drugs. The citation of this report is listed. Report of the Expert Panel on Blood Cholesterol Levels in Children and Adolescents. National Cholesterol Education Program. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH Publication No. 91-2732, Bethesda, MD, September 1991.

Working Group on Lipoprotein Measurement

This report describes methods for standardization of laboratory measurement of serum cholesterol and lipoproteins. It outlines evidence to support various methods of measurement. Recommendations on Lipoprotein Measurement.

  • From the Working Group on Lipoprotein Measurement. National Cholesterol Education Program. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH Publication No. 95-3944, Bethesda, MD, September 1995.