Atherogenic dyslipidemia in metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: therapeutic options beyond statins

Tenenbaum, Alexander; Fisman, Enrique Z.; Motro, Michael; Adler, Yehuda
January 2006
Cardiovascular Diabetology;2006, Vol. 5, p20
Academic Journal
Lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) is clearly efficacious in the treatment and prevention of coronary artery disease. However, despite increasing use of statins, a significant number of coronary events still occur and many of such events take place in patients presenting with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. More and more attention is being paid now to combined atherogenic dyslipidemia which typically presents in patients with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. This mixed dyslipidemia (or "lipid quartet"): hypertriglyceridemia, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, a preponderance of small, dense low-density lipoprotein particles and an accumulation of cholesterol-rich remnant particles (e.g. high levels of apolipoprotein B) - emerged as the greatest "competitor" of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol among lipid risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Most recent extensions of the fibrates trials (BIP - Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention study, HHS - Helsinki Heart Study, VAHIT - Veterans Affairs High-density lipoprotein cholesterol Intervention Trial and FIELD - Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes) give further support to the hypothesis that patients with insulin-resistant syndromes such as diabetes and/or metabolic syndrome might be the ones to derive the most benefit from therapy with fibrates. However, different fibrates may have a somewhat different spectrum of effects. Other lipid-modifying strategies included using of niacin, ezetimibe, bile acid sequestrants and cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibition. In addition, bezafibrate as pan-peroxisome proliferator activated receptor activator has clearly demonstrated beneficial pleiotropic effects related to glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Because fibrates, niacin, ezetimibe and statins each regulate serum lipids by different mechanisms, combination therapy - selected on the basis of their safety and effectiveness - may offer particularly desirable benefits in patients with combined hyperlipidemia as compared with statins monotherapy.


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