A number of recommendations are provided regarding the detection, assessment and management in primary and secondary prevention, approaching hypercholesterolaemia from a multifactorial standpoint based on cardiovascular risk. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Spain. The major risks involved are coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. The demographic, health-related and social impact thereof will be increasing over the coming decades. Controlling hypercholesterolaemia, in conjunction with eradicating the smoking habit and controlling hypertension, diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity comprise one of the main strategies for preventing cardiovascular diseases. Breaking down the risk of individuals based on the major cardiovascular risk factors is essential, given that these factors condition the frequency with which these individuals must be monitored and the type and degree of treatment entailed. Based on this breakdown, the priorities have been set for taking steps to prevent cardiovascular disease. In primary prevention, the therapeutic objective in high-risk persons (20% risk or higher or those persons involving two or more risk factors) has been established as LDL-cholesterol < 130 mg/dl. In secondary prevention, drug treatment is indicated when LDL-cholesterol (130 mg/dl and the therapeutic objective is LDL-cholesterol < 100 mg/dl. Those patients having coronary heart disease must be included in secondary prevention programs that will ensure good, constant clinical and risk factor-related control.