Guidelines

The American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association (AHA) and other organizations work together on an ongoing basis to create guidelines that set the standards of care for the diagnosis, management and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

The guidelines are intended to help you and your health care providers make informed, best-possible decisions regarding your care. Please note that the guidelines are written to meet the needs of most patients. However, everyone is unique, and how the guidelines apply to you should be a key point of discussion between you and your cardiologist.

Although all of the guideline documents are freely available, these documents are often extremely long, and written for the health care provider. To make them easier to understand, here you will find summaries of the key points. We provide links to the full documents on the Journal of the American College of Cardiology's website.

We urge you to review these key points, print them out if you like, and engage your health care provider in a discussion about how the guidelines relate to you and your condition. That is, after all, what being CardioSmart is all about—being empowered to work with your physician in managing your care to ensure the best possible outcome.

Cholesterol Guideline: What You Need to Know (2018)

What you need to know about new guidelines on managing cholesterol, the fat-like substance found in your blood.

Bradycardia Guideline: What You Need to Know (2018)

Bradycardia means your heart beats very slowly. What you need to know about new guidelines to manage this condition.

Guideline for the Management of Adults With Congenital Heart Disease (2018)

New guidelines for managing adults with congenital heart disease are a major update to recommendations released in 2008.

Guideline for Ventricular Arrhythmias and Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death (2017)

A summary of key points for patients to know about how to manage patients with ventricular arrhythmias and to prevent SCD.

High Blood Pressure Guidelines (2017)

New guidelines change how high blood pressure is defined. Find out what you need to know about the latest update.

Update of Guidelines for Heart Failure Management (2017)

This is a summary of key points experts made in an update to guidelines for the management of heart failure in April 2017.

Update to Valvular Heart Disease Guidelines (2017)

This is a summary of key changes experts made in March 2017 to guidelines for treatment of patients with heart valve disease.

Syncope Guidelines (2017)

This is a summary of guidelines about treating patients with syncope issued in March 2017.

Peripheral Artery Disease in the Legs Guidelines (2017)

This is a summary of guidelines on peripheral artery disease of the lower extremities issued in December 2016.

Update to Guidelines for Heart Failure Drug Therapies (2016)

This is a summary of key changes experts made in May 2016 to guidelines on drug therapies for patients with heart failure.

Update to Guidelines on Percutaneous Coronary Intervention and treatment of ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (2015)

This is a summary of key changes experts recently made to guidelines addressing the use of PCI in patients with STEMI heart attacks.

Guideline for the Management of Supraventricular Tachycardia

This summary of the guideline highlights the latest evidence on SVT and provides recommendations for diagnosis and treatment.

Guideline for Treating Stable Ischemic Heart Disease

This summary of the guidelines addresses the standards your doctor should follow in the initial evaluation and treatment of stable ischemic heart disease.

Atrial Fibrillation Guidelines (2014)

These guidelines were created to reflect the latest research when it comes to treating atrial fibrillation—an irregular heart rhythm affecting 2.6 million Americans.

Valvular Heart Disease Treatment Guidelines

This is a summary of the guidelines addressing the standards that doctors should follow in providing care for adults with valvular heart disease.

Guideline for Treating Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk (2013)

This is a summary of the guidelines addressing the standards that doctors should follow in treating blood cholesterol to reduce cardiovascular risk in adults.

Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

This is a summary of the guideline that provides recommendations for heart-healthy lifestyle choices based on the latest research and evidence.

Guideline for Treating Overweight and Obesity

This is a summary of the guidelines addressing the standards that doctors should follow in providing care for obese adults.

Guideline on the Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk

This is a summary of the guidelines addressing the standards that doctors should follow in assessing risk for cardiovascular disease.

Heart Failure Treatment Guidelines

This summary of the guidelines addresses the standards your doctor should follow in the initial evaluation and treatment of heart failure.
What You Should Know: Summaries of Treatment Guidelines for Patients

Heart Attack Treatment Guidelines

This summary of the guidelines addresses the standards your doctor should follow in the treatment of heart attack.

Guidelines for Treating Adults with Congenital Heart Disease (2008)

This is a summary of the guidelines addressing the standards that doctors should follow in providing care for adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD).

Infographic: Shared Decision-Making

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Infographic: Bradycardia