Atherogenic Dyslipidemia and Combination Pharmacotherapy in Diabetes: Recent Clinical Trials

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Abstract
The Review of Diabetic Studies,2013,10,2-3,191-203.
Published:August 2013
Type:Review Article
Authors:
Author(s) affiliations:

Sandra J. Hamilton1 and Gerald F. Watts2

1Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health, University of Western Australia, Geraldton, AUSTRALIA.

2School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Royal Perth Hospital Unit, University of Western Australia, Perth, AUSTRALIA. 

Abstract:

Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are at a markedly increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dyslipidemia is a common risk factor and a strong predictor of CVD in T2D patients. Although statins decrease the incidence of CVD in T2D, residual cardiovascular risk remains high despite the achievement of optimal or near-optimal plasma lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations. This may, in part, be due to uncorrected atherogenic dyslipidemia. Hypertriglyceridemia, the driving force behind diabetic dyslipidemia, results from hepatic overproduction and/or delayed clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. In patients treated with a statin to LDL-cholesterol goals, the addition of ezetimibe, fenofibrate, niacin, or n-3 fatty acid ethyl esters may be required to correct the persistent atherogenic dyslipidemia. Clinical trial evidence describing best practice is limited, but recent data supports the strategy of adding fenofibrate to a statin, and suggests specific benefits in dyslipidemic patients and in the improvement of diabetic retinopathy. However, based on results from a recent clinical trial, niacin should not be added to a statin in individuals with low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and very well controlled LDL-cholesterol. Further evidence is required to support the role of ezetimibe and n-3 fatty acids in treating residual CVD risk in statin-treated T2D patients.