The Role of Triglyceride in Cardiovascular Disease in Asian Patients with Type 2 Diabetes - A Systematic Review

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The Review of Diabetic Studies,2013,10,2-3,101-109.
Published:August 2013
Type:Review Article
Author(s) affiliations:

Ai-Hua Chen1,2 and Chin-Hsiao Tseng2,3,4

1Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University.

2Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, TAIWAN.

3Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, TAIWAN.

4Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine of the National Health Research Institutes, Taipei, TAIWAN.


In Asian populations, diabetes mellitus is increasing and has become an important health problem in recent decades. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the most important complications and the most common cause of death in diabetic patients. Among the risk factors of CVD, elevated lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol has been a major concern. Studies suggested that serum triglyceride may also play a role in predicting CVD in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the association is still debated. In this review, we summarized published studies focusing on the relationship between serum triglyceride and CVD disease in Asian diabetic patients. Ten studies conducted in six different Asian countries (three from Hong Kong, two from Taiwan, tow from Japan, one from Indonesia, one from South India, and one from South Korea) were summarized and discussed. CVD was subdivided into coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. Of the ten studies analyzed, one focused on CVD, five on coronary heart disease, three on stroke, three on peripheral arterial disease, and one on mortality from CVD. Studies from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan suggested that triglyceride is a significant and independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, but not a significant risk factor for stroke (studies conducted in Japan and South Korea) or peripheral arterial disease (studies conducted in Taiwan, Indonesia, and South India). Although serum triglyceride may be a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease in Asian diabetic patients, clinical trials evaluating whether lowering triglycerides using fibrates can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in these patients need to be initiated.